Fortum launches Nordic countries’ biggest electricity storage pilot project

Fortum launches Nordic countries

Fortum has announced the launch of Nordic countries’ biggest electricity storage pilot project integrating Saft’s megawatt-scale Li-ion (lithium-ion) battery energy storage technology.

The company in a statement said “the objective is to research the suitability of batteries used for storing electricity to maintain a power balance in the electricity system. Additionally, the research will explore new opportunities offered by electricity storage and by the flexible intermediate storage of electricity.”

Fortum will install Saft’s Li-ion containerized battery system with a nominal output of 2 megawatts (MW) and 1 megawatt hour (MWh) of energy capacity will at its Suomenoja power plant in Finland.

“We are also researching the battery’s optimal use together with the production and the demand flexibility-based virtual power plant,” said Tatu Kulla, Head of Operations, Fortum.

The battery project is an extension of Fortum’s experiment started in March in which a virtual power plant based on demand flexibility is being built together with customers. The capacity of this power plant will be offered to the national grid company Fingrid to maintain a continuous power balance in the electricity system.

The company aims is to start the installation work in September 2016 and test use of the electricity storage is expected to begin in October. Investment cost of the project is about two million euros, for which Fortum will receive a 30 per cent energy investment subsidy from the Ministry of Employment and the Economy.

Suomenoja is an ideal test environment for the pilot because the power plant already has in use an industrial-scale heat pump station, which produces about 300,000 MWh, i.e. as much as 15 per cent of Espoo’s district heat demand. Additionally, one of Finland’s biggest thermal batteries is currently under construction at the plant; it can store about 800 MWh of thermal energy.

Kulla said “Increasing the amount of energy produced with solar and wind power will increase the need for regulating power that balances the electricity network and for new storage solutions. When the weather is sunny or windy, there is plenty of energy production, but less demand, so it makes sense to store the electricity. In this project we are also researching new business models that can be developed with electricity storage for electricity companies and customers.

We look forward to working in cooperation with Fortum in this important project to develop future operational and business models for advanced Li-ion energy storage systems in electricity grids“, Glen Bowling, Transportation, Telecom & Grids Senior Vice President Sales at Saft said.

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