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Developer Elements Green bags preliminary planning approval for 400MW Germany BESS

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Developer Elements Green has secured preliminary planning approval for a 400MW battery energy storage system (BESS) project in Germany.

The UK-headquartered company, active internationally, announced the unanimous preliminary planning approval (Aufstellungsbeschluss) obtained from a council meeting last month, yesterday (3 April). The project is in the town of Elsfleth, in the state of Lower Saxony, northwestern Germany.

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No additional details were given in Elements Green’s announcement on business networking site LinkedIn, but a local planning document obtained by Energy-Storage.news clarified what the decision means, and a bit about the project.

The preliminary planning approval relates to changing local zoning and land use regulations to allow for the next stage of development, but is not the same as a permit for construction, which requires further development activity.

The project will be in Vorwerkshof, an area five minutes’ drive from the town centre, and would require around 18 hectares in total to house its 100 20-foot BESS container units and balance of plant (BOP) equipment.

The planning document also referred to 400MW being a ‘first phase’ of construction, and 100MW only requiring 1 hectare, so the project may well encompass future BESS capacity additions.

There are underground caverns at a nearby site, Huntorf, which currently store natural gas but could in future store green hydrogen, an opportunity that energy firm Uniper is pursuing. Energy-Storage.news has heard anecdotally that Germany is particularly bullish on the potential of green hydrogen, compared to other countries, potentially even for electricity storage (something most in the sector agree the tech has too low a round-trip efficiency for).

At 400MW it is among the largest BESS projects in Germany by power to-date, although no targeted commercial operation date (COD) was announced by the company. Other similar sized projects announced include several 300MW/600MWh systems by developer and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) Eco Stor.

Germany is targeting 145GW of onshore and offshore wind and 215GW of solar PV capacity by 2030, which will require large-scale energy storage to integrate. The Federal government recently released an Electricity Storage Strategy detailing how it plans to get there.

Elements Green is active in the UK with large-scale solar projects covered by our sister site Solar Power Portal.

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