E.ON leads 5MW battery push

A group led by German utility E.ON will build a utility-scale ‘modular’ battery storage system designed to aid renewables’ integration into power networks.

E.ON, US battery giant Exide and German inverter-maker SMA Solar claim the project – called M5BAT – will be a world first, combining a 5MW power range with a modular array of technologies to suit various operational requirements.

M5BAT will combine high-output lithium ion batteries for short-duration discharge, high-temperature batteries for medium-duration, and lead-acid for short- and medium-duration, said E.ON.

The storage system will be built at the E.ON Energy Research Centre at Aachen University, backed by €6.5m ($8.9m) of German government funding. It is due to enter service next year.

E.ON board member Leonard Birnbaum said: “The growth of renewables in Germany is making smart grids and large-scale energy storage technologies increasingly more important.

“Battery storage systems are particularly interesting because, unlike compressed-air storage or pumped-storage hydro, they aren’t subject to narrow geographic constraints and don’t require long planning cycles.”