Storage power plant inaugurated at Curslack wind farm

Michael Westhagemann, the Senator for Economics, Transport and Innovation of the City of Hamburg, today officially commissioned the storage power plant at the Curslack wind farm in Hamburg-Bergedorf. At the core of the system is a system linking the five wind turbines operated at the wind farm with a new battery storage facility, which is connected directly to the wind farm grid. Built by Vattenfall in conjunction with the Competence Center for Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency (CC4E) of the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW) and the Nordex Group, the lithium-ion battery storage facility can collect electricity from the adjacent CC4E wind farm and thus increase its efficiency.

The purpose of the storage power plant, which was built as part of the major NEW 4.0 – “Norddeutsche EnergieWende” energy transformation project for northern Germany, is to enable practical research to be conducted into the possibilities for the system integration of renewable energies. By coupling the wind farm and battery storage, the supply of electricity from the wind farm can be optimised and adapted to meet customers’ needs. In this way, it will be possible to avoid shutting down wind turbines in the event of a grid overload as far as possible.

In addition, Vattenfall, Nordex and CC4E want to jointly design models for innovative system services. Control algorithms and parameters, e.g. for the local provision of reactive power or instantaneous reserves, are to be developed and tested so that providers of renewable energies can offer these services together with battery storage systems on a market-oriented basis.

The storage power plant consists of 24 batteries featuring the latest BMW technology. These are the same batteries that are also used in electric vehicles. The battery storage unit has an output of 720 kW and a storage capacity of 792 kilowatt hours (kWh).

Says Senator Westhagemann: “Today’s inauguration testifies to the innovative capabilities and creativity of our region and our firm resolution to implement the energy transformation. In this way, we are creating a perspective for Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein that not only addresses environmental and climate protection concerns, but is also driving innovation in our economy with completely new approaches to the production, transportation and storage of energy.”

“With this plant, we are helping to ease the pressure on electricity grids in northern Germany and taking a step forward in the availability of non-fossil fuels. Using the findings from this project, we can develop further intelligent storage solutions for wind farms with the aim of marketing the energy from wind farms to optimum effect even under future conditions,” explains Oliver Weinmann, managing director of Vattenfall Innovation GmbH and a member of the NEW 4.0 project steering group.

“The NEW 4.0 project aims to convert the northern German states of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein to green electricity in full in 2035. As the only wind turbine manufacturer involved, the Nordex Group has the opportunity here to gain a practical insight into the grid requirements of the future and to contribute its expertise and the product characteristics of its turbines to the development process. The word “storage” makes it clear that the overriding concern is to secure reliable supplies. The Curslack storage power plant provides the blueprint for a flexible response to a wide variety of customer requirements with regard to the integration of storage facilities in wind farm projects and provides practical proof that this is viable,” says Dr. Ilya Hartmann, CEO Division Europe of the Nordex Group.

“The storage power plant is one of 25 demonstrators in the NEW 4.0 project with which we want to test innovative solutions for the energy system of the future under real conditions. Looking forward, wind turbines as producers of power will need to react more flexibly and intelligently to the requirements of a stable system and balance very short-term fluctuations. In this way, they will be able to handle the system tasks performed by conventional power plants. The integration of a battery storage system in our own wind farm and the links with the neighbouring CC4E energy campus provide a unique constellation for our research projects on the energy system of the future”, says Prof. Dr. Werner Beba, Head of CC4E and NEW 4.0 Project Coordinator.

More than 60 partners from industry, science and politics have been working together on the joint NEW 4.0 project since the end of 2016. Together they are defining the development path culminating in the goal of supplying 100 percent regenerative electricity throughout the combined Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg region by 2035 on a reliable, cost-effective and socially acceptable basis with significant CO2 savings. The project is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) under the “Schaufenster Intelligente Energie – Digitale Agenda für die Energiewende” (SINTEG) [Shop Window for Intelligent Energy – Digital Agenda for the Energy  Transformation] development programme.

SINTEG aims to develop and validate scalable model solutions for environmentally friendly, reliable and affordable energy supplies with a high proportion of renewable energies in large “shop window regions”. The focus is on the intelligent networking of production and consumption as well as the use of innovative grid technologies and operating concepts. The solutions developed are to serve as a model for a broad-based implementation.