German solar integration specialist Belectric has begun serial production of its ‘Energy Buffer Unit’ (EBU) battery system.
The company said a number of the units were expected to be installed in the German transmission network throughout 2016, without giving further detail on levels of production.
The roll-out of the system comes after Belectric succesfully had it qualified last year for operation in Germany’s grid-balancing frequency response market.
A trial of the EBU has been in operation with the Alt Daber solar project in Brandenburg, Germany since the end of 2014. Under the trial the system has been offering services to Germany’s primary frequency response market, the first in Europe to do so, and Belectric said its decision to press ahead with serial production reflected the success of this trial and a strong sales pipeline.
“Through its 10 months of operation, the battery system at Alt Daber has proven its excellent ability to improve the stability of the transmission network operation through fast response to frequency fluctuations caused by generators or interconnection trips,” said Bernhard Beck, executive chairman of Belectric. “We are confident in the quality of our turnkey storage solution, its attractive price and its additional functionality to provide ancillary grid services throughout the transmission network in Europe as well as worldwide.”
The EBU incorporates lead-acid battery technology, which Belectric claims offers higher levels of reliability and longevity than other battery types.
After an initial roll out in Germany, Belectric said it would be looking to introduce the EBU technology in other markets in Europe and in the USA.
One market in which Belectric is looking to establish a prominent position is the UK, where the company has also been trialling its technology and is pre-qualified for a 200MW storage tender due to take place later this year by the UK’s National Grid.
In a recent interview with Energy Storage News the company’s UK manager, Duncan Bott, said Belectric hoped to scoop a substantial chunk of the forthcoming tender and future tenders expected in the UK.
“A lot of this tender round is around the commercial frameworks, so we have high hopes but I think the commercial structuring will dictate the number of megawatts we have the pleasure of installing. Of the 200MW this year and possibly 200MW next year, we’d like to do 30% to 40% at least and from a supply chain point of view we’ve managed our supply chain and certainly been able to deliver it. I think a lot of people have overlooked the supply chain. You don’t just pull 200MW out of the battery and expect more to respond tomorrow,” Bott said.
The beginning of serial production of the EBU would seem to place Belectric well for delivering on this assertion.