Daimler with its subsidiary Mercedes-Benz Energy has turned a former coal-fired power station into a large storage plant made of battery modules from electric cars. 1920 battery modules have been bundled together to create a "live replacement parts store" for the fleet of the third generation electric smarts.
The large storage facility will be used to balance out the German energy grid which has added a large number of renewable energy supplies in recent years. The facility in Elverlingsen in South Westphalia will be used to store energy from renewable sources when it’s being produced in excess and not needed immediately.
It can release it again when energy production is lower but demand is higher. The 8.96 MW/9.8 MWh project consists of a modular design that enables the system to continuously and fully automatically stabilize the power grid with balancing power.
Former coal-fired power plant given new life
The innovative project was built on the site of a former coal-fired power station that was built in 1912 and recently shut down. Mercedes-Benz describes the project in a statement:
“The large storage plant is, therefore, a symbol for the transformation in the storage and use of energy – away from fossil electricity grid supply and towards a sustainable extension of the e-mobility value chain that reduces CO2. With the replacement, part storage concept The Mobility House AG, GETEC ENERGIE AG and Daimler with its subsidiaries Accumotive and Mercedes-Benz Energy are creating a new kind of win-win situation and supporting the progress of the energy turnaround.”
This is the most recent in a series of battery-related projects for Mercedes-Benz. The German automaker also operates a similar but larger system in Herrenhausen.
Mercedes-Benz dedicated to battery storage projects
More than 3,000 battery modules from the third-generation smart electric car have been placed in an energy storage facility. The project has an energy capacity of 17.4 MWh, putting it among the biggest stationary energy storage systems with Li-ion batteries in Europe.
It is also used to stabilize the German energy grid. Daimler described the project saying: “In the event of increasing fluctuations in electricity feed-in from renewable energies such as wind and solar energy, such storage units help to ensure optimum balancing of the grid frequency, which must be constantly stabilized. With their storage capacity, they balance the energy fluctuations with virtually no losses – a task which is currently predominantly performed by fast-rotating turbines, rotating masses in large power stations. Around half of the planned system strands is already coupled with the network with an output of 5 MW.”
Other car makers Tesla and BMW have also developed ways to leverage their car battery technology. BMW teamed up with Vattenfall, to create a 2.8 MWh energy storage facility built with batteries from over 100 BMW i3 electric cars. Tesla famously ‘fixed’ South Australia's energy crisis with its large battery facility in Jamestown South Australia.