Germany frequency control project

German frequency control project combines batteries and power-to-heat

Swb Erzeugung AG & Co, a German utility based out of Bremen, has ordered a hybrid grid frequency regulation solution which will use both battery energy storage and power-to-heat facilities. Multinational AEG Power Solutions have been awarded the contract.

The Bremen utility supplies the local area with not only power and heat but also internet, communications and infrastructure services. It has ordered a 20 MW hybrid solution system, with the ability to deliver 15 MW of power for grid balancing via primary frequency control.

Engineering group AEG have been developing a hybrid solution to substantially reduce the cost to generate primary-frequency power. The hybrid system connects an electric heating arrangement – where energy is stored as heat – and electrochemical batteries to a power converter. The whole arrangement can then operate in both directions, feeding power to the grid when it is required or pulling power out for frequency balancing.

In Bremen as in other German regions the increasing proportion of power generation provided by renewable energy is fuelling the need for frequency balancing. In response, several battery storage facilities are being connected to the grid, being constructed or being planned across the country.

The hybrid solution proposed by AEG supposedly lowers costs by reducing the battery capacity required – according to the company’s claims, approximately 50% less. The power-to-heat system also stores energy more cheaply than battery storage. As the two systems share much of the same electrical components and hardware for grid connection, AEG claims installation and hardware costs will also be reduced, both for the system operator and system maintenance. In Germany, the grid maintenance fees are taken from the public purse.

AEG CTO Jörg Liedloff confirmed his belief that this hybrid approach was a reliable and cost-effective method for grid-stabilising needs, and that the rapidly maturing market will soon offer many more similar opportunities. As Swb Erzeugung AG & Co are already suppliers of both heat and power, they consider the solution ideal for their requirements.

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