Lausitzer Energie AG (LEAG) and ESS Tech have announced plans to build a giant battery in eastern Germany. This battery will be used to cover peak loads in the power grid that are normally supplied by fast-response gas-fired power plants. The goal is to create a completely carbon-free baseload power system that provides only green electricity.
The technology behind the project
The proposed battery is based on iron redox flow technology. This type of battery uses liquid electrolytes stored in tanks. The size of the tanks determines the capacity of the battery, which allows for flexible adjustment of storage capacity. The battery is said to have a lifespan of 25 years and an unlimited number of charging cycles. In addition, the system is fire safe and can be built using locally available components such as industrial pumps and piping.
The construction of the battery
The project is currently in the design phase, with a contract expected to be finalized in the third quarter of this year. Construction is expected to begin by the end of the year and be completed in phases by 2027. An initial capacity of one megawatt is to be provided in 2024, increasing to five megawatts by 2025 and eventually to 50 megawatts in 2027.
Future plans and challenges
In the long term, LEAG plans to provide two to three gigawatt-hours of buffer storage. A mix of technologies will be used, including lithium-ion batteries and hydrogen. One challenge is that the battery can only operate in a temperature range of between -4 and +40 °C. Therefore, ESS is currently developing a cold package to enable the battery to be used in winter as well.