Daimler, the German automotive company best-known for the Mercedes-Benz line of vehicles, obviously knows a bit about cars. So perhaps it’s no surprise its subsidiary, Mercedes-Benz Energy, is using vehicle technology to repurpose a retired coal plant, as it takes its knowledge of electric vehicles (EVs) and moves into energy storage. Daimler, along with GETEC ENERGIE AG and technology company The Mobility House AG, is turning the old Mark-E coal-fired plant in Elverlingsen, Germany, into an energy storage facility, using nearly 2,000 modules from EV battery packs made by Daimler’s Accumotive subsidiary.
Mercedes-Benz Energy has launched other projects utilizing battery packs for EVs for stationary energy storage.
The company in June said the Elverlingsen project, along with a battery storage facility in Lünen (12.8 MWh of energy capacity, opened in 2016) and a spare parts storage facility in Hanover (17.4 MWh, opened in 2017), means that “40 MWh of energy will [soon] be connected to the grid.” The facility in Hanover, in the Herrenhausen district, includes about 3,000 battery modules. The project is managed by Enercity, a German electric utility.
The Elverlingsen project has 8.96 MW of installed capacity (9.8 MWh of energy capacity), with 1,920 battery modules installed at the former 330-MW coal plant, which shut down in March (a second 200-MW coal-fired unit was retired in 2014).
Daimler in a statement said, “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.” Daimler said the project would be used to balance power on the German grid, which has continued to add more intermittent renewable energy in recent years. “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 stabilised,” the company said in a statement. “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.”