RWE Generation is repurposing decommissioned li-ion batteries from electric vehicles manufactured by Audi into second-life stationary energy storage systems. The energy company has deployed its system, which has a 4.5 MWh capacity, at its pumped hydro energy storage plant, which is located in northwest Germany’s region of North-Rhine Westphalia. The used batteries are removed from development models of the e-tron electric vehicles, which have a 252-mile maximum range and are mainly used for transport.
RWE Generation CEO Roger Miesen stated that the company had partnered with the car company to test different ways to employ used high-voltage batteries from electric vehicles by linking them to create energy storage systems. Miesen noted that using second-life batteries was a sustainable alternative to using new batteries and would help identify applications for which battery systems could be used in the most cost-effective way.
In a recent press release, RWE also revealed that the batteries had roughly 80% of their residual capacity remaining when they began to be used. The batteries can be used for about a decade as components in a battery energy storage system, with RWE noting that their low cost is an advantage. The energy company used about 60 batteries, each of which weighs roughly 700 kg for its storage system.
RWE’s battery installation project was started in October 2021 with the components being commissioned in November. The company plans to market capacity from the batteries soon, starting with their use in frequency regulation applications where they will be used to stabilize the grid. RWE expects to try out other market-facing opportunities and applications as the project advances.
Oliver Hoffmann, a member of the board for technical development at Audi, stated that the aim of the company’s joint project with RWE was to demonstrate how resources could be saved by using used high-voltage batteries. Hoffmann also revealed that the company planned to launch 20 fully electric automobile models by 2025 under its electric offensive strategy.
Audi is focused on enabling carbon neutral mobility by partnering with energy companies to develop sustainable mobility solutions. Currently, RWE has 600 MW of battery storage in operation. The energy company plans to grow this to 3 GW in a decade. Apart from the Herdecke project, RWE has nine other battery projects in Ireland, Germany and the United States.
The company is also exploring advanced nonlithium technologies such as vanadium redox flow batteries. Last year, RWE launched two innovative projects, which pair run-of-river hydroelectric plants in Germany with battery storage to boost plant efficiency.
The battery energy storage segment is seeing plenty of innovation, with firms such as StorEn Technologies Inc. deploying various battery chemistries that promise to solve the challenge of storing energy on a large scale for days or even weeks.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to StorEn Technologies Inc. are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/StorEn
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