Europe: No discrimination for battery storage on primary frequency control market

Germany’s Federal Association of Energy Storage (BVES) has welcomed the news that the European Commission has not introduced any special regulations for battery storage under the newly published Network Code on Load Frequency Control & Reserves (NC LFCR). The network code should regulate the provision of reserve power and system operation of European electricity grids.

Power plants looking to provide primary frequency regulation must, as part of prequalification, demonstrate that they are capable of generating the authorized maximum demand for at least 15 minutes. Lengthy discussions had focused on whether, under a separate regulation, battery storage units should generate it for 30 minutes. These have now been closed, following the publication of the new network code.

"With regard to a fair and non-discriminatory balancing energy market, the commission sends a very important signal to the energy storage market," said BVES. "The commission has rightly decided on technology-neutral, market based … rules," added Urban Windelen, national secretary of BVES.

The next important step is, in a constructive exchange with Germany’s network operators and the Federal Network Agency, to quickly implement the EU Commission’s rules in the German prequalification code of practice, so the numerous battery projects can soon be available to operate in the frequency regulation market.

According to BVES, battery storage units fulfill the technical requirements for primary frequency regulation in a hitherto unknown quality. An over- or under-shoot of the required frequency, or delayed delivery are not given. Furthermore, primary frequency regulation for the rapid stabilization of the grid within 15 to 30 seconds is required. "After that, secondary frequency control regulation is engaged, which must be fully available within five minutes," said BVES. Therefore, proof of 15 minutes is more than adequate to provide the required security.

Translated and edited from pv magazine Deutschland by Becky Beetz