The increasing share of renewable energies (RES) is presenting grid operators worldwide with growing challenges to maintain the balance in the electricity grid. Frequency deviations in the grid can lead to poorer power quality and, in the worst case, to a power outage. Uniper SE, Düsseldorf, Germany, is launching an innovative battery solution that meets the growing need for fast frequency control and thus grid stability.
The first implementation of this battery technology will take place in two of Uniper’s hydroelectric power plants in northern Sweden: Edsele, with a capacity of six megawatts, and Lövön, with a capacity of nine megawatts. The power plants were selected because Swedish grid operator Svenska Kraftnät recently opened up the capacity market for a new product called ”fast frequency reserve“ (FFR).
The combination of hydroelectric power and batteries of the Uniper solution is as fast as it is efficient: While the hydroelectric power acts as an energy storage, the batteries ensure a quick response to frequency deviations. At the same time, the storage capacity of the batteries can be kept relatively low. Due to the great potential of the technology, Uniper is already working on scaling up, which should enable broad implementation in other plants within the group.
David Bryson, Chief Operating Officer of Uniper SE says: ”The new battery system has a very good chance of becoming a competitive solution for the ancillary services market in Europe. At the same time, the product fits perfectly with our strategy of making our portfolio climate-friendly step by step. Our goal is to use carbon-free energy sources for increased growth and to be carbon-neutral in Europe by 2035. The use of the innovative battery technology in combination with hydroelectric power is another good step in this direction”.
Johan Svenningsson, Country Chairman Uniper Sweden says: ”I am really proud that the new battery system is making its debut in two of our hydro power plants in Sweden. The technology can give us a competitive advantage in a rapidly growing market and give us the opportunity to make even better use of Sweden’s excellently developed hydroelectric system. It strengthens hydropower as a reliable source of energy and expands our hydroelectric product range“.
The battery system will be supplied by the engineering and technology company Nidec Industrial Solutions (NIS), the industrial platform of the Nidec group.
Uniper is a leading international energy company with around 11,500 employees and activities in more than 40 countries. With about 34 GW of installed generation capacity, Uniper is among the largest global power generators. Its main activities include power generation in Europe and Russia as well as global energy trading, including a diversified gas portfolio that makes Uniper one of Europe’s leading gas companies. In 2019, Uniper sold a gas volume of 220 bcm. The company is headquartered in Düsseldorf, being the third-largest listed German utility. Under its new strategy, Uniper aims to become carbon-neutral in Europe by 2035.