11 Jun 2024, 13:51
Benjamin Wehrmann

VW plans battery storage in Germany that could double country’s industry-scale capacity


Carmaker Volkswagen (VW) plans to install large battery storage capacities in northern Germany to store wind and solar power for times of little output, reports newspaper WirtschaftsWoche. The head of the company’s technology department, Thomas Schmall, said construction is slated to begin this summer. “And we will be ready to connect to the grid early next year,” Schmall added. The storage facility’s initial capacity will be 700 megawatts (MW) and could be expanded to 1,000 MW later, which roughly equals the capacity of a standard gas-fired power plant, he said. With the new facility, the capacity of industrial-scale batteries in Germany would double, Schmall said, adding that the company expects demand for battery storage to grow tenfold in the coming years. While the facility will initially be equipped with new batteries, the idea would be to fit them with old ones from used electric vehicles to make the project more sustainable. The large-scale battery would help VW to enter a new market and stabilise the power grid, Schmall said. He called the company’s investment “a significant contribution to the sustainable transformation of the energy system” that ensures less renewable power must be curtailed during production peaks or demand slumps.

Alongside green hydrogen, large battery storage facilities are seen as a key technology for completing the transformation of Germany’s energy system to renewable power, as they are needed to stabilise the grid at times of little wind or sunshine. While battery storage capacity in the country has grown steadily in recent years, this has been particularly pushed by smaller installations in private homes, often to complement roof-mounted solar panels and electric vehicle charging.

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