SMA and Upside Group commission 25 MWh storage system

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Upside Group and SMA have commissioned a 25 MWh battery storage system. According to the announcement, the storage system is one of Europe’s largest, and uses lead-acid battery cells supplied by Narada Inc.

Reportedly, Upside Group had conducted four years of testing and simulation modeling prior to the commissioning of the system, to choose the right components and scale for future use cases.

“Nine powerful Sunny Central Storage battery inverters and two Fuel Save Controller units from SMA optimally integrate the storage system into the utility grid,” said Dr.-Ing. Enrique Garralaga Rojas, Head of Project Development at SMA Sunbelt GmbH. “They ensure battery charging and discharging tailored to the grid requirements at all times.”

More than 10,000 lead-acid batteries have been accommodated in 18 steel containers for this project, which aims to provide grid services, to the distribution grid in Langenreichenbach in Germany. The battery will deliver primary control reserve to stabilize the frequency in the utility grid, caused by variable renewable energy penetration, but also varying loads from off-takers.

“The installation right on the premises of the electrical substation coupled with the connection at the heart of the MitNetz distribution grid enables the provision of not only the primary control reserve but also other grid management services,” said Marc Reimer, General Manager of Upside Invest GmbH & Co. KG. “MitNetz Strom has recognized this, and we have found an important partner in them for our contribution to the energy transition.”

Furthermore, SMA highlights that the project is monitored by its SMA Sunbelt Monitoring System down to the single battery cell level, to detect faults at early stages. There are currently four similar projects set for commissioning by SMA, one of which is a 16 MW site near the German town of Leipzig.

Grid management services such a primary control reserve, peak shaving or idle power mitigation are lucrative use cases, becoming increasingly more popular among independent power producers and municipal utilities. Such services allow for solid financial models for storage projects like this one.