Germany’s Steag buys Italian ‘plug and play’ energy storage system

Steag energy storage deal
Steag has bought a 90MW energy storage system to support grid automation in its service territory

German utility Steag said this week it has engaged in a €70 million deal with the Italian subsidiary of Japanese industrial automation company Nidec ASI for the supply of an 90MW energy storage system.

The system, based on Nidec ASI energy conversion solutions, will use batteries supplied by LG Chem to store electrical energy, which the utility will use to ensure the stability of its electricity network.

Under the terms of the deal, Nidec ASI will take on the role of main contractor responsible for installation and commissioning of the plants in North-Rhine-Westphalia and Saarland.

Each Nidec ASI system will provide six 15MW systems, each containing 5 units of 3MW.

All the systems consist of electrochemical batteries connected to the main grid via a drive system developed by Nidec ASI.

The electricity is stored in batteries or fed into the grid through the inverter. The system stores energy when there is excess production, feeding it back to the grid when demand exceeds the availability.

This mechanism claims to stabilise the network, avoiding sudden power imbalances that could cause a blackout.

German electricity network

Commenting on the deal, Giovanni Barra, CEO of Nidec ASI, said: “The planned closure of all nuclear power plants in Germany by 2022 poses a significant technological challenge in the transport and storage of electricity from multiple sources.

“Nidec ASI provides the technological innovation of its management system and storage control, which allows the release of electricity to the grid within milliseconds to strengthen its stability, and also offers experience in managing such complex projects.”

Nidec ASI has expanded into the utility-scale energy storage sector and has over the past two years delivered solutions to the French islands of La Réunion and Corsica, worked in Italy with electricity transmission company Terna and Enel Green Power overseas, where the firm built a smart microgrid in Chile.