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Fortum installs biggest battery in Nordics at biomass power plant

By Fortum Corp. | March 03, 2017

The biggest lithium-ion battery in the Nordic countries was commissioned on March 3 at Fortum’s Järvenpää biomass power plant, dubbed Fortum’s Batcave battery project.

Electricity production forms that are condition-dependent, such as wind and solar energy, will require more flexibility from the electricity grid in the future. In addition to hydropower, electricity storage brings flexible regulating power to the electricity system. The flexibility brought by a battery storage enables growth in the use of renewable energy sources in Finland.

The Batcave battery’s nominal output is 2 MW and the energy capacity 1 megawatt-hour (MWh). The battery consists of approximately 6,600 lithium-ion cells, and it offers quick, second- and minute-level grid flexibility in frequency regulation. The Batcave name refers to “battery cave”, a construction container equipped with the latest battery technology and created as a test environment for new ideas. The battery project complements Fortum’s research on other future solutions, such as demand response and virtual power plants.

“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, head of business development, Fortum. "The electricity battery brings flexibility to the national electricity market, benefitting all electricity users. In addition to storing electricity, the Batcave project allows us to test completely new ideas for optimal control of the battery together with other flexible electricity production forms."

The investment cost of the Batcave development project is about EUR 1.6 million, for which Fortum will receive a 30 percent energy investment subsidy from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. The electricity battery is supplied by the French SAFT, which has decades of experience in manufacturing various battery technologies.

Fortum’s Järvenpää biomass-fueled combined heat and power plant was commissioned in spring 2013. It produces district heat for about 34,000 residents in the Tuusula and Järvenpää communities, as well as electricity for the national grid.