Saft, a manufacturer of high technology batteries for industry, has been awarded a megawatt-scale Li-ion (lithium-ion) battery energy storage contract by Fortum, the Finnish energy company. A Saft Intensium Max containerised battery system, with a nominal output of 2 MW and 1 MWh of energy capacity, will be installed at Fortum’s Suomenoja power plant as part of the largest ever electricity storage pilot project in the Nordic countries.
Fortum’s objective is to research the suitability and optimum usage of batteries to maintain a power balance in the electricity system. In addition, the research will explore new opportunities offered by electricity storage and by the flexible intermediate storage of electricity. The battery project is an extension of Fortum’s pioneering experiment, started in March 2016, in which a virtual power plant based on demand flexibility is being built with customers. The capacity of this power plant will be offered to the national grid company Fingrid to maintain a continuous power balance in the electricity system.
“Increasing the amount of energy produced with solar and wind power will increase the need for regulating power that balances the electricity network and for new storage solutions,” says Fortum Head of Operations Tatu Kulla. “When the weather is sunny or windy, there is plenty of energy production, but less demand, so it makes sense to store the electricity. In this project, we are also researching new business models that can be developed with electricity storage for electricity companies and customers.”
The planning of the Suomenoja battery project has begun with the aim to start the installation work during September 2016. Test use of the electricity storage is estimated to begin in October 2016. The project’s investment cost is about €2 million, for which Fortum will receive a 30% energy investment subsidy from the Ministry of Employment and the Economy.
“We look forward to working in with Fortum in this important project, to develop future operational and business models for advanced Li-ion energy storage systems in electricity grids,” says Glen Bowling, Transportation, Telecom & Grid Group Senior VP Sales at Saft.
Electricity storage is a part of the future’s so-called solar economy. With the intermediate storage of electricity, supply and demand can be better balanced. What’s more, storage can also function as an electricity network stabilizer in malfunction situations. Other advantages of electricity storage include its ability to instantly deploy and its easy adjustability. Better yet, electricity storage reduces the need for peak-load plants powered by fossil fuels.
Filed Under: Energy storage, News