innogy subsidiary Westnetz is testing a large battery storage facility near the town of Wettringen, a small community in the north-west Münsterland region – and doing so for the first time under real conditions in the rural medium-voltage grid as an alternative approach to conventional grid expansion. The storage facility is able to store the same amount of energy as a megawatt hour, or about as much as 2,000 car batteries.
On sunny days, and over the midday period in particular, numerous photovoltaic panels within the region feed their power into the grid. That power can now be diverted into the battery and later fed back into the grid when needed. As well as relieving pressure on the grid on sunny days, the pilot plant is also providing valuable operating experience, which will help Westnetz make further improvements to the way it uses such storage solutions within its overall grid infrastructure.