Vattenfall is using electric vehicle batteries for their to-date largest power storage facility named “battery@pyc”. The 22 Megawatt battery stands at Pen y Cymoedd in Wales and has recently begun commercial operations.
The battery will be used with the Enhanced Frequency Response project, which aims to stabilize the British electrical network. The battery system is comprised of 6 containers, of which 5 contain the 500 BMW i3 batteries, which feature 33 kWh each.
The batteries which are also found in the BMW i3 were adapted for stationary use. In Pen y Cymoedd, Vattenfall is also running a 228 MW onshore wind park, which shares the electrical infrastructure.
For the construction of the power system Vattenfall received partial funding from the British National Grid two years ago. The intention behind the ruling was to create new standardized systems to stabilize the British power network.
Gunnar Groebler, head of wind power at Vattenfall, is convinced that the battery project will provide insight to how the digitised and smart energy networks of the future will function. “Vattenfall is on the road to a smart, digitalised future, free from fossil fuels. I can think of few other energy installations that better demonstrate what that future looks like than this battery installation.”
Claus Wattendrup, head of solar and batteries at Vattenfall, added that they are planning to utilise the synergy between structures in other Vattenfall project locations: “This is Vattenfall’s largest battery installation to date, where we make use of synergies at our existing wind farms sites – such as at Pen y Cymoedd or the Princess Alexia Wind Farm in the Netherlands. Hybrid renewable parks will play a larger role in the future and we are leading this development.”
Stationary energy storage projects (including locations near Amsterdam and Hamburg) are one step, but Vattenfall is planning larger moves in the electric mobility sector. In April, the Swedish energy company founded a new business unit with the goal to become a leading provider of charging infrastructure in Europe within the next five years, aiming to achieve a profit of 1 billion Kronen.
Currently, the company maintains charging networks in Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands and Vattenfall will expand their charging markets to the UK, France and Norway in the near future as well.
The company is also a co-investor for the Northvolt factory, which will build battery cells in Sweden, and made the announcement some time ago to electrify their entire company fleet of 3,500 vehicles by 2022.