Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) begins operation of its electric thermal energy storage system (ETES). During the opening ceremony, Energy State Secretary Andreas Feicht, Hamburg's First Mayor Peter Tschentscher, Siemens Gamesa CEO Markus Tacke and project partners Hamburg Energie GmbH and Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) welcomed the milestone. The storage technology makes it possible to store large quantities of energy cost-effectively and decouple electricity generation and use, according to Siemens.
The heat storage facility contains around 1,000 tons of volcanic rock as an energy storage medium. It is fed with electrical energy converted into hot air through a resistance heater and a blower that heats the rock to 750°C. When demand peaks, ETES uses a steam turbine for the re-electrification of the stored energy. The ETES pilot plant can store up to 130 MWh of thermal energy for a week, according to Siemens. In addition, the storage capacity of the system remains constant throughout the charging cycles.
The aim of the pilot plant is to deliver system evidence of the storage on the grid and to test the heat storage. Siemens Gamesa plans to use its storage technology in commercial projects and scale up storage capacity and power. The goal is to store energy in the range of several gigawatt hours (GWh) in the near future. One gigawatt hour is reportedly the equivalent of the daily electricity consumption of around 50,000 households.
"With the commissioning of our ETES pilot plant, we have reached an important milestone on the way to introducing high-performance energy storage systems," says Markus Tacke, CEO of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy. "Our technology makes it possible to store electricity for many thousands of households at low cost. We are thus presenting an elementary building block for the further expansion of renewable energy and the success of the energy transition."
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