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Wärtsilä/Greensmith energy storage optimises natural gas plant in Hungary

The just-commissioned project in Budapest, Hungary. Image: Wärtsilä via Twitter.

An energy storage system running on Greensmith’s GEMS software platform has been installed at a natural gas generation facility in Hungary, by Greensmith’s parent company Wärtsilä.

While energy storage with renewables have grabbed the majority of headlines within the industry, batteries have also been used in a handful of locations in combination with fossil fuel generators recently. China is developing or has already developed several, while there are other projects in territories including Australia.

Located in the Hungarian capital, Budapest, Wärtsilä’s latest project was commissioned yesterday and is the first ever energy storage project on which the company has performed an EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) role. It is also the Finnish corporation’s first ‘engines-plus-storage’ installation.

Delivered for customer ALTEO, a Budapest Stock Exchange-listed developer of energy projects including renewables in Hungary, the plant combines three of Wärtsilä’s W34SG engines with 6MW/4MWh of battery energy storage. Wärtsilä claims the W34SG engines are suitable for delivering both “flexible baseload and peak load” and can support the grid in performing ancillary services applications. The company also said the engines can reach 49% efficiency in five minutes from start up, allowing for faster ramping times than other comparable generators.

The hybrid installation will operate in ‘virtual power plant mode’ to help regulate the grid, providing primary and secondary frequency regulation services. This will allow ALTEO to participate in electricity market opportunities for those services, generating revenues. The Greensmith GEMS platform was used to integrate the systems together, while the platform’s software will control the delivery of ancillary services, while analysing ongoing changes in market conditions and rate structures.

Wärtsilä acquired Greensmith in mid-2017 after a period of the two collaborating on projects. Shortly before that takeover, the Finnish company’s energy solutions director had talked up the potential of the latter’s software platforms in enabling greater integrations of systems, including hybrids.

“Wärtsilä is a global energy systems integrator and in the future we will continue to see more examples of energy storage and sophisticated software controls being paired with power plants, wind, buildings and hydro to create hybrid solutions that cut carbon, lower costs and optimise generation,” the company’s Energy Solutions division business development manager Markus Ehrström said.

A schematic example of a hybrid power plant-plus-storage solution. Image: Wärtsilä.

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