October 31, 2019: Energy storage firm Upside Group fired up its latest lead carbon battery storage system on October 29, this time a 25 MWh facility in Groitzsch, Germany, 80km from its identical 15MW/25MWh facility at Langenreichenbach that was installed in 2018.
The two facilities, which provide frequency regulation for the grid, are either side of the city of Leipzig, in the eastern state of Saxony, and permission has just been granted for a 16MW lead carbon facility to be commissioned early next year in the state.
The batteries were supplied by Chinese battery giant Narada, with which Upside has a joint venture, and 10,584 of them are fitted to the roof of 18 40-foot-high containers. The company says they can store enough power to supply all the households in the nearby Groitzsch community for eight days.
“The aim of this large storage facility is to stabilize the frequency in the power grid and thus the creation of a basic prerequisite for reliable energy supply,” said Marc Reimer, managing director of Upside Invest.
“We tested other technologies in our first two installations before (lead acid, lithium ion) and found out that lead carbon is for our requirements a perfect fit… big capacity at reasonable pricing, low maintenance, no fire risk and high residual value.
“Due to the growing importance of electromobility and the decision to phase out nuclear power and coal rapidly, this task is becoming increasingly important. Our systems are already in operation day and night and support the European grid frequency several hundred thousand times a year.”
The company said that grid stabilization had become an urgent need, with mains frequency ‘repeatedly coming into regions endangering the power grid for several months’.
“On January 10 the frequency dropped so sharply that the critical 49.8Hz mark was reached at the lowest point,” the company said.
“With only one mHz less, serious measures would have had to be taken to prevent a major network disruption. A similar incident occurred earlier in October and gives cause for concern.”