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Vattenfall contracts with BMW for up to 1,000 new 33 kWh Li-ion batteries this year for storage projects in wind farms

Vattenfall and the BMW Group have signed a contract for the delivery of up to 1,000 lithium-ion batteries this year. The batteries—each with a capacity of 33 kWh—are equipped with a BMW-owned battery management system and are also used by the car manufacturer in the BMW i3.

Vattenfall will purchase the new batteries from the BMW plant in Dingolfing and use them in all storage projects. The first energy storage from the BMW-i3 batteries is being built at the 122 MW onshore wind farm “Princess Alexia” near Amsterdam. With a capacity of 3.2 megawatts (MW), it is Vattenfall’s first large storage project in the Netherlands.

Pending on a final investment decision the largest battery storage will be built at the Vattenfall wind farm Pen y Cymoedd (230 MW) in South Wales—a 22 MW storage facility, which will help to support the stability of the country-wide power grid in the UK as part of the so-called EFR (Enhanced Frequency Response) service.

As part of the project “Norddeutsche Energiewende NEW 4.0”, Vattenfall, together with the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW) and the company Nordex, will implement a large battery storage at the future wind farm in Hamburg-Bergedorf. This is a so-called storage control unit made of batteries. It is meant to maintain the security of supply with a feed-in of 100% renewable energy.

In addition, the battery storage contributes to the improvement of the network quality and the more efficient use of the existing network structure. Other possible applications would be electricity storage in private households. Energy storage solutions are an important part of Vattenfall’s strive to power climate smarter living.

Energy storage and grid stability are the major topics of the new energy world. We want to use the sites where we generate electricity from renewable energies in order to drive the transformation to a new energy system and to facilitate the integration of renewable energies into the energy system with the storage facilities. The decoupling of production and consumption and the coupling of different consumption sectors are in the focus of our work.

—Gunnar Groebler, Senior Vice President of Vattenfall and Head of Business Area Wind

Vattenfall and BMW have partnered on a number of EV- and battery-related projects over the years.

  • In 2011, BMW Group and Vattenfall Europe began a project with the MINI E to optimize the charging strategy to the use of wind energy. (Earlier post.)

  • In 2013, the two started a research project on the secondary use of high-voltage EV batteries using batteries from the MINI E and the BMW ActiveE as stationary power storage. (Earlier post.)

  • In 2015, Bosch, BMW and Vattenfall launched the Second Life Batteries alliance and interconnected used batteries from electric vehicles to form a large-scale energy storage system in Hamburg. (Earlier post, earlier post.)



On topic and very relevant to grid battery storage.

It's been a bit of a journey to understand the reports of "cascading frequency collapse" and the associated claims that "only base load can solve the problem."
There is no nice way to phrase this. The claims seem counter intuitive and in fact are baseless unless it is fair to say "the lights don't work" while refusing to install or throw the switch.

Getting my head around the claims has been an interesting challenge and my guess is that the matter is not well understood or described.So if this sounds like you, I'll try to make this stupid simple.

Most of us will understand the need to have fast smoothing on the grid whether powered by spinning reserve (steady) or wind and solar which is more susceptible to intermittency glitches (as well as the expected flux of longer hourly daily and seasonal duration but that's a separate matter )

A fewer number of us will understand the problem of matching the frequency of larger numbers of dispersed generators and how that can be resolved.

From the above article
"a 22 MW storage facility, which will help to support the stability of the country-wide power grid in the UK as part of the so-called EFR (Enhanced Frequency Response) service."

This is a great primer on the subject:

I'd just add that we live in a world where it is possible to match frequency across the whole planet to an accuracy of 10 - 100 gigahertz. 10, 000,000,000.Hz
using conventional or garden variety GPS.

According to the makers of event horizon telescope.
"EHT observations of Sgr A* and M87 to date have been carried out at 230 GHz (1.3 mm wavelength). We expect to add 345 GHz (0.87 mm) as an observing frequency in the near future."

When experts claim inability to frequency match 50 or 60 Hz grid (only applies to renewables) generators, you know they are either lying or incompetent or both.

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