Fortum commissions the biggest battery in Finland

by Carl Johannes Muth

Finnish clean energy firm Fortum has commissioned a lithium-ion battery in conjunction with its biomass-fired power plant in Järvenpää, north of Helsinki. The battery, which was delivered by French manufacturer Saft, has a nominal output of 2 MW and an energy capacity of 1 megawatt-hour (MWh), as Fortum reported on Wednesday.

The battery’s approximately 6600 lithium-ion cells offer second- and minute-level grid flexibility in frequency regulation. This is needed due to increasing electricity generation from variable energy sources in Finland, such as wind and solar.

“Our Batcave project takes us a big step closer towards the solar economy, where electricity storage plays an important role alongside renewable energy production forms“ said Tatu Kulla, Fortum´s head of business. „ The electricity battery brings flexibility to the national electricity market, benefiting all electricity users.“

Fortum will receive a 30 per cent energy investment subsidy from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment for its Batcave project, worth €1.6 million. The name refers to “battery cave”, a construction container equipped with the latest battery technology and created as a test environment for new ideas.

Last year in May Fortum and Saft launched a similar project at Fortum’s combined heat and power plant Suomenoja in Espoo, Finland’s second largest city. However the Finnish company changed its plan due to a higher technical feasibility to connect the battery with the 2013-commissioned power plant in Järvenpää, as Fortum Project Manager Roosa Nieminen told pv magazine.