Siemens Gamesa Begins Operation of its 130 MWh Thermal Energy Storage System

Renewable energy developer and wind turbine manufacturer, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) has started the operation of its electric thermal energy storage system (ETES).

The newly-opened pilot project in Hamburg-Altenwerder in northern Germany can store 130 MWh of energy for up to one week while the storage capacity of the system remains constant throughout the charging cycles. The company plans to use this storage technology in commercial projects and increase storage capacity and power.

The ETES, the pilot project of the company, makes it possible to store large quantities of energy in a cost-effective manner, which in turn, separates electricity generation and use.

The Spain-based engineering company located in Zamudio, SGRE is leading the way forward in the renewable energy sector.



The innovative heat storage facility contains around 1,000 tons of volcanic rock as an energy storage medium. It is fed with electrical energy converted into hot air using a resistance heater and a blower that heats the rock to 750°C. When the demand peaks, ETES uses a steam turbine for the re-electrification of the stored energy. The ETES pilot plant can store up to 130 MWh of thermal energy for a week. Also, the storage capacity of the system remains constant throughout the charging cycles.

The ETES aims to deliver system evidence of the storage on the grid and to test the heat storage extensively.

Siemens Gamesa also plans to use its storage technology for commercial purposes and wants to utilize ETES to increase storage capacity and power.

“Decoupling generation and consumption of fluctuating renewable energy via storage is an essential contribution to implementing the energy system transformation. We, therefore, need cost-effective, efficient and scalable energy storage systems,” said Andreas Feicht, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy.

“With the commissioning of our ETES pilot plant, we have reached an important milestone on the way to introducing high-performance energy storage systems. Our technology makes it possible to store electricity for many thousands of households at a low cost. We are presenting an elementary building block for further expansion of renewable energy and the success of the energy transition,” commented Markus Tacke, CEO of Siemens Gamesa. The technology reduces costs for larger storage capacities to a fraction of the usual level for battery storage.

The main objective of the project is to store energy in the range of several gigawatt hours (GWh) in the future.

The Institute for Engineering Thermodynamics at the Hamburg University of Technology and the local utility company Hamburg Energie are partners in the innovative Future Energy Solutions project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy under the research program called ‘6. Energieforschungsprogramm’.

In May this year, Mercom reported that Siemens Gamesa recorded a revenue of €4.6 billion ($5.2 billion), an  increase of 6% on a year-over-year (YoY) basis in the first half of FY 2019, and by 7% in the second quarter, to €2.3 billion ($2.6 billion) due to a strong performance in its offshore service.

Energy storage has been gathering renewed interest in India, and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) recently issued invitations requesting proposals to develop gravity storage project. The ministry believes that with the increasing share of renewables in the country, there will soon be a requirement for energy storage to absorb fluctuations and for grid balancing.

Early this month, the Madhya Pradesh Power Management Company Limited (MPPMCL) issued an expression of interest (EoI) inviting energy storage companies for setting up a 500 MW project in Madhya Pradesh.

Image credit: NAVFAC [CC BY 2.0]