Large-Scale Lithium-ion and NAS® Hybrid Battery System Demonstration Project Launched in Niedersachsen

Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO); the Ministry for Economics, Labour and Transport of Niedersachsen of the Federal Republic of Germany; EWE-Verband, an association managing the electric power supply to 17 districts and four cities in Niedersachsen; and EEW Holding have agreed to jointly implement a demonstration project of a large-scale hybrid battery system.

On 19 March 2017, Mr. Furukawa, Chairman of NEDO, Mr. Lies, Minister for Economics, Labor and Transport of Niedersachsen, Mr. Schönecke, Association Director of EWE-Verband, Mr. Bramlage, Deputy Association Director of EWE-Verband, and Mr. Röhler, Managing Director of EEW Holding signed a memorandum of understanding. At the same time, Hitachi Chemical Co., Ltd.; Hitachi Power Solutions Co., Ltd.; and NGK Insulators, Ltd., Japanese companies commissioned by NEDO to implement the project, and EWE AG, an energy provider in Germany, have agreed to collaborate in the project and concluded an implementation document.

The demonstration project is carried out over a three-year period from April 2017 to March 2020 and was launched in Varel, Niedersachsen, which has been actively introducing renewable energy, particularly large-scale wind power, in recent years. The project aims to build a large-scale hybrid battery system using lithium-ion batteries and NAS® batteries that can stabilise the distribution grid, and thereby controlling the electric power supply and demand balance, by charging and discharging storage batteries. Another aim is to establish an innovative business model for electricity trading using the system, in collaboration with Germany’s enera project. The large-scale hybrid battery system was built using lithium-ion batteries from Hitachi Chemical, NAS® batteries from NGK Insulators, and a power grid information and battery control system from Hitachi Power Solutions.

It was designed by taking advantage of the features of lithium-ion batteries with a high power charge/discharge output and of durable, large capacity NAS batteries, combined with a power grid information and battery control system that communicates information in and outside of balancing groups in cooperation with EWE AG’s electricity trading system. Through this system, the four functions of primary control reserve supply, secondary control reserve supply, balancing within a balancing group, and reactive power supply that stabilise local power voltage will be realised to replace the functions of conventional power plants. Electricity trading will be executed in line with the EWE Group’s electricity trading system. The demonstration project also aims to establish business models so as to make the system attractive to power generation and electricity trading companies in and outside of Germany, thereby expanding the hybrid battery system in the future.

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