The Energy Storage Report 2024

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Germany roundup: Tesvolt, Wirsol with 10MW+ projects, second life firm Voltfang raises €5 million


An energy storage news roundup from Germany, including 10MWh-plus projects from Tesvolt and Wirsol Roof Solutions and a €5 million fundraise by second life firm Voltfang.

Tesvolt to provide 4MW/10MWh BESS to Green Energy project

Commercial and industrial (C&I) battery storage system integrator Tesvolt will deliver two of its TPS-E storage containers for a project developed by Green Energy 3000.

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The containers, totalling 4MW of power and 10MWh of energy storage, will connected to a 12MWp solar PV plant in Lower Saxony, northwest Germany. It is the fourth project between Tesvolt and Green Energy 3000, a developer, and will bring the total energy storage capacity deployed by the pair to 18.3MWh, though the announcement didn’t say when it will come online.

The project was awarded a contract under the Innovation Tenders, which were launched in Germany a few years ago and pay an additional premium per kWh of energy discharged by co-located battery systems to the grid.

However, Philipp Schreiber, project manager for large-scale storage systems at Tesvolt, was critical of the Tenders’ stipulation that the energy storage facility cannot charge from the grid.

“Legislators need to take action to ensure the innovation tender remains an appealing tool for project owners. The current stipulation that battery storage systems are not allowed to store electricity from the grid, i.e. that they cannot run bidirectionally, must be changed as a matter of urgency. This is the only way for the available storage capacity to be used to full effect.”

“This would also add a clear additional incentive for investing in energy storage, as operators would be able to boost their profits by selling their storage capacity. In turn, this would quieten demand from project developers for higher feed-in tariffs.”

Similar criticisms were levied at the investment tax credit (ITC) for co-located energy storage in the US before it was expanded to standalone energy storage at the start of 2023.

Rooftop PV solution provider launches large-scale storage in central Germany

In concurrent news, Wirsol Roof Solutions is launching a 10.35MW/13.41MWh battery energy storage project in Thuringia, central Germany.

It will balance out fluctuations in the power grid, improve the integration of renewable energies and increasing the efficiency of the energy system, the company said, citing a target commercial operation date (COD) in Q1 2024.

The project will be owned and operated by W Power GmbH, which shares a parent company Wirth with Wirsol, and Profine Energy GmbH, a separate firm which provides renewable energy solutions.

The system will be connected to a substation operated by Thüringer Energienetze GmbH via a 20kV medium-voltage line.

It will provide a ‘wide range of services’, the announcement said, but primarily ancillary services, primary control reserve (FCR) and secondary control reserve (aFRR). It will also participate in energy trading via the intra-day and day-ahead markets.

Second life energy storage firm Voltfang raises €5.2 million

Voltfang, an Aachen-based company which designs and deploys energy storage systems with used EV batteries, has raised €5.2 million (US$5.7 million) from investors.

The money was raised in through a €4.7 million seed round earlier this year which was then followed by a €500,000 extension, raised from mostly individual investors: Max Viessmann, Bernd Heinrichs, Stefan Fritz, Michael Lowak, Ference Brose and then VC firm Dastore.

A spokesperson for Voltfang, a RWTH Aachen University spin-off, told that the company repurposes used EV batteries at the module rather than pack level.

“This enables us to test each and every module rather than implementing a whole rack and hoping that each module lives up to expectations. So our testing is way more precise than most second life competition. Our slide in units make it possible to implement any module there is. It’s not only a plug and play solution for the customer,” they said.

However, many second life firms has interviewed also work at the module level. Germany is a particular hotspot for second life energy storage activity, partially thanks to its large automotive sector.

The spokesperson also claimed that Voltfang has procurement contracts with big European OEMs to guarantee the shipment of 1GWh to the end of 2026, and that it is working directly with them in order to put the effects of the repurposed batteries into their ESG goals.

Expanding on how the company is setting itself apart, they said: “Thirdly, our Voltfang Industrial is a serial production. We don’t only sell the storage unit, we sell a power storage solution including inverter and installment. With our partner network, we can make sure that every client of us gets proper consulting before buying the system. This includes a detailed electricity and use case analysis.”

“Fourthly, we have a warranty of 10 years or 10,000 charging cycles. Because we re-qualify every battery by intense testing, we can promise that our clients get only the best batteries there are. Automotive Battery Standards are already the best and safest batteries you can get, so with our testing and monitoring, we make them even safer.”

“Fifthly, batteries are monitored 24/7 by our BMS and our EMS can enable all kind of stakeholders. From CHP plants to charging stations and of course photovoltaic systems. Furthermore, this month is our first implementation of a DC/DC system at Schaltbau GmbH in Bavaria, Germany.”

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