14 Dec 2023, 13:28
Ruby Russel

Operator plans to replace German nuclear plant with Europe’s largest battery storage facility

Norddeutscher Rundfunk

PreussenElektra, operator of the decommissioned Brokdorf nuclear power plant in northern German state Schleswig-Holstein, which was taken offline at the end of 2021, wants to transform the site into a power storage facility, reports NDR. Initial plans could see a 100-megawatts (MW) battery plant operating on a site close to the nuclear power station in 2026. A second phase would add 700-megawatts of capacity, hosted on the 12-hectare site of the nuclear power plant itself. The company hopes to have the entire project online in 2036, but is waiting for authorisation to begin dismantling the decommissioned reactor.

The state of Schleswig-Holstein is a major producer of wind power, which PreussenElektra wants to buy up when supply peaks, and sell back to the grid when it falls. Tapping into a major interconnector at Wilster, it would also be in the market for renewable power supplied from abroad via Nordlink, a subsea electrical cable linking Norway and Germany. “The Brokdorf site is ideally situated to be part of the solution to the currently tense grid situation in the region,” PreussenElektra CEO Guido Knott told NDR.

At 800MW, PreussenElektra’s storage facility would be the biggest of its kind in Europe. A PreussenElektra spokesperson told NDR the project, which is expected to cost half a billion euros, was only possible in partnership with its parent company E.ON, but they would not be seeking public funds. Still, to move forward, they need a permit to dismantle the nuclear facility. Plant manager Tammo Kammrath said he expected local authorities to issue draft permission for parts of the dismantling work in summer 2024, allowing PreussenElektra to begin planning and issuing tenders. Kammrath said the battery plant would allow PreussenElektra to retain some of its 260 Brokdorf staff.  The state government welcomed the project.

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