German utility Lausitz Energie Bergbau (LEAG) has teamed up with US energy storage company ESS Tech to plan the installation of a 50MW battery in Germany as part of a broader plan to upgrade energy storage technology in the country.
Once the terms of the partnership have been finalised, probably in the third quarter of this year, LEAG and ESS plan to begin a €200m project to build an “iron redox flow” battery at the Boxberg power plant in the state of Baden-Württemberg.
Iron redox flow, or iron salt batteries, are an alternative to lithium based technology. They are readily scalable and non-flammable, which makes them suited to a role in static energy storage plants.
LEAG, which is based in Cottbus in Brandenburg, commented in a press statement that ESS’ technology used safe and sustainable battery technology to provide cost-effective utility-scale energy storage. It added that the company has been deployed in commercial microgrid systems, and that utility-scale projects are under way in the US and Australia.
Eric Dresselhuys, the chief executive of ESS, commented: “The deployment of renewable energy and long-term energy storage will not only provide reliable, clean energy to effectively replace current base-load power supplies with coal, but also create economic opportunity and a cleaner environment for Germany.
“The cooperation with LEAG is an important building block in developing a model for the transition from coal to clean, renewable energy for energy suppliers and municipalities worldwide.”
If all goes to plan, the battery will be commissioned in 2027.
According to website Renewables Now, LEAG aims to transform the Lusatia mining region into Germany’s “green powerhouse”.
For this purpose, the company plans to develop up to 14GW of renewable energy capacity combined with up to 3GWh of battery storage capacity and 2GW of green hydrogen production.