BMW Provides Batteries For 3 MW Energy Storage System

3 months ago by Mark Kane 11

Alfen delivers a mega energy storage system for Nuon (complete with BMW i3 batteries)

Dutch company Alfen, has delivered a 3 MW energy storage system for Nuon’s Prinses Alexia Windpark in Zeewolde, the Netherlands.

Alfen delivers mega energy storage system for Nuon (with BMW i3 batteries)

What we find interesting with this installation, is that the energy storage system (ESS) consists of multiple BMW car battery packs, that combine to store any surplus of wind energy, so that it can be used when the grid requires the power at a later moment in time.

“The Alfen mega energy storage system helps to smooth peaks and troughs in power supply and better match the demand for energy. In this way we are creating more flexibility and stability in the system to facilitate renewable energy.”

In the near future, the system will be expanded to 12 MW, becoming  the largest in the Netherlands and one of largest worldwide (Tesla’s largest installation in Australia is to be 100 MW in another ~100 days or so).

Earlier this year, Alfen realized a 1 megawatt storage system linked to a wind farm in Giessenburg, so the scale is moving up quickly.

Project Manager Boudewijn Tjeertes at Nuon says:
“This will enable us to make flexible use of renewable energy without wasting energy. And we are looking further: for example, we are planning to install a battery in residential areas with many houses with rooftop solar. In this way residents can use their solar energy that is generated during the day to charge their car at night. Today this is still happening with energy from fossil fuels.”
Andreas Plenk, responsible for global sales of energy storage systems at Alfen:
“Our system is compatible with multiple batteries. The excellent collaboration with both Nuon and BMW has made it possible to realize this innovative system in a short period of time. In addition, the installation has a modular set-up which makes it easy to expand in the future.”

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11 responses to "BMW Provides Batteries For 3 MW Energy Storage System"

  1. GrumpyReader says:

    Physical window:
    When we are talking about POWER, we use MW as energy in one second.
    When we are talking about ENERGY (STORAGE), which is ability to deliver POWER during some TIME, therefore the unit is MWh as Mega Watt hour.

    1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      Grid storage batteries are often rated by power.

      Another press release says it’s 88 BMW i3 batteries. If 88 x 33kWh that’s 2.904MWh.

      If all of the blurb is correct they’ll be running it at about 1C.

      1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

        http://alfen.com/en/thebattery-specifications

        They seem to be running them pretty close to 1C.

        1. Just_Chris says:

          I assume a 12 MW battery (3 MW in the first stage) on a nearly 500 MW wind farm is not going to be used for energy storage but rather for other grid services such as frequency regulation and smoothing. I don’t really understand wind farms (please feel free to correct me below if I am way off the mark) and their power output but I believe that you typically de-rate the power output by 5-10% to give a smoother power output free of fluctuation. I think the addition of storage is to allow you to smooth the power electrically and hence run the wind farm nearer the full output. For this kind of service, a measure of power is more appropriate as the battery is never fully charged or discharged. What the specification is really saying is that you can smooth a fluctuation of +/- 3 MW (first stage) or +/- 12 MW (final installation). In reality I suspect it will be closer to + 12MW, – 24 MW fluctuation giving a total of 36 MW which is in the 5-10% ball park.

          1. Just_Chris says:

            Sorry my Dutch isn’t crash hot. I misread the web page I was reading, the power output of the wind farm is 122 MW. The total output of Noun in Holland is 427 MW which is the nearly 500 MW I was referring to.

  2. Bernhard says:

    Useless. If they have 10 modern wind turbines at 3.6 MW each, the system is full in a few minutes (if it would be able to charge that fast).

    1. vdiv says:

      Come on! It’s not useless. It may not be sufficient, however storage is considered key for renewable generation to produce power on demand.

    2. Davek says:

      Pretty much agreed. There HAS to be a cheaper, more robust storage medium than Li-ion for grid scale storage. I realise that pumped storage isn’t really an option in the Netherlands, but come on, is this really better than underground or underwater compressed air, or any one of the many many other available systems? Save lithium for mobile applications! Or MAYBE for smaller island grids…

      1. FISHEV says:

        There is no lithium shortage so that is not an issue.

    3. john doe says:

      That is not how it works.
      This windpark has a peak Production of 122megawatts.

      The batteries are just to even out the energy produced. A major problem with wind, solar power and the like is not a steady output. This wind park is designed to produce electricity for 88000 homes, but the grid needs stability. When there is less energy, coal, gas or nuclear power will have to produce more. They’re made for stable load and Production. Adjusting these will give more pollution, and they’re not so fuel efficient.
      More green power will require more grid batteries.

      1. Tom says:

        Agreed. A UPS on a computer or other equipment does exactly the same thing. For instance when I was in the military deployed to the middle east we had mobile command centers. These had communications equipment, network servers, routers, etc hooked up. Power came from generators and sometimes grid power (which was horrible power). Generators tend to die suddenly or give uneven power and have balancing issues if more than one is running because one will get to 58 hz and another is at 60 and whatnot. The ‘backup battery’ as this application of the BMW batteries is configured in is more like a “UPS” as computer people would call it. That means yes if power goes away the battery can hold the power for say 30 minutes, but by far its most useful purpose is leveling the power, doing ‘line cleaning’, and cleaning up the surges and drops. Wind is exactly the same. A gust of wind moves a spike through the lines, each rotor may not be in exact tune with the required 60hz, etc etc. Having the wind farm channel through this battery is the same as putting an APC branded UPS on the communications equipment rack. And yes it saves energy too, but this is not just about holding up power for hours on end during low wind. This is about grid stabilization which allows increasing alternative energy all around without having cascading power fluctuations.

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