Vattenfall, together with the Swedish company SaltX Technology, will test how renewable wind and solar power can be stored in salt. In experiments, SaltX's patented technology has proven to be able to store up to ten times more energy and for much longer periods than water.
Courtesy of SaltX
The technology will be tested for the first time on an industrial scale at a pilot plant in Vattenfall’s Reuter thermal power plant. The plant in Spandau, Berlin, has a total storage capacity of 10 MWh.
“In the next few months, we will collect important data to get answers to the question of whether and how this type of plant can be used in our business. Some questions are how large amounts of salt can be used, how quickly the storage medium reacts and how the process can be controlled,” said Markus Witt, responsible for the project at Vattenfall Wärme Berlin AG.
The technology developed by SaltX is based on nano-coated salt. The technology enables this “salt battery” to be charged several thousand times and the energy can be stored for weeks or months without losses.
“The energy sector is changing quickly, and we globally see an enormous need for energy storage. Germany is a country at the forefront of this development and we are proud to have Vattenfall as a partner. We are eager to launch our energy storage solution commercially as quickly as possible,” said Harald Bauer, CEO of SaltX Technology.
The test operation at the plant in Berlin is planned to run until the end of the summer 2019. Thereafter, test data will be evaluated, and the results presented at the end of the year.
Other partners in the project in addition to SaltX and Vattenfall include ETIA, Energiforsk, Öresundskraft and Göteborgs energy, and the Swedish Energy Agency which participate through funding.