Swedish utility Vattenfall will test a new salt-based energy storage system for storing wind and solar generated electricity, as part of a 10MWh pilot project at its Reuter thermal power plant in Berlin, Germany.

The ‘salt battery’ technology, developed by specialist outfit SaltX, has been shown in experiments to have ten-fold the capacity to storage energy than water using nano-coated salt – and can be charged several thousand times with the energy stored “for weeks or months without losses”.

“In the next few months, we will collect important data to get answers to the question of whether and how this type of plant can be used in our business. Some questions are how large amounts of salt can be used, how quickly the storage medium reacts and how the process can be controlled,” said Vattenfall Wärme Berlin project manager Markus Witt.

The patented technology developed by Swedish SaltX Technology is based on nano-coated salt. The technology enables this “salt battery” to be charged several thousand times and that the energy can be stored for weeks or months without losses.

Harald Bauer, CEO of SaltX Technology, said: “The energy sector is changing quickly, and we globally see an enormous need for energy storage. Germany is a country at the forefront of this development and we are proud to have Vattenfall as a partner. We are eager to launch our energy storage solution commercially as quickly as possible.

The test operation at the plant in Berlin, which was officially commissioned today (11 April), is slated to run until the end of the summer.