RWE starts building Germany’s two largest BESS projects

RWE starts building Germany’s two largest BESS projects

Multinational energy firm RWE has started construction on two battery storage projects totalling 220MW/235MWh in Germany.

RWE will invest €140 million (US$150 million) into the two projects which will be commissioned at power plants in Neurath and Hamm, both in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The Neurath project will total 80MW/84MWh and require €50 million of investment while the Hamm batteries will have a capacity of 140MW/151MWh and account for €90 million of investment.

The projects are scheduled to enter the country’s balancing market from the second half of 2024 and will also participate in the wholesale energy market.

The company announced it was building the projects in November last year, at which time it only revealed the MW power and not the MWh capacity. However, the ratio between power and energy of the systems mirrors that of other large-scale battery storage projects it is bringing online, like two totalling 112MW/128MWh in Werne and Lingen.

And like its other projects, the new systems will be virtually coupled with RWE’s network of power stations to optimise their combined dispatch onto the grid.

The Neurath and Hamm projects are the top two largest battery storage systems that is aware of in Germany under construction. The current largest operational system is the one in Werne brought online by RWE late last year, totalling 72MW, and the 67MW Smareg4 project in Thuringia.

Roger Miesen, CEO RWE Generation commented: “As the proportion of renewables in the electricity mix increases, so does the need for flexible battery storage systems. They balance out fluctuations in the electricity grid in seconds, which means they are the key to a reliable electricity supply. In terms of size and technology, the new large-scale battery storage facility in Neurath and Hamm is setting standards throughout Europe.”

The German grid-scale energy storage market, once the most active in Europe in the mid-2010s until a lull in the latter part of the decade, has started to pick back up again last year with around 400-500MW coming online, a figure expected to increase in the coming years. looked into the growth drivers, challenges and opportunities in a special feature for a recent edition of PV Tech Power, the quarterly downstream journal from Solar Media’s editorial division, now accessible via subscription to ESN Premium.