By 2030 Austria aims to make its electricity supply 100% renewable in terms of balance sheet. The future of the electricity supply must be flexible because wind and sun are occasionally unpredictable suppliers of energy. With the innovative plant, Verbund is setting standards for more efficiency and reliability of supply.
The main driver for Verbund was to establish a combined HPP/ BESS system for the provision of primary control power which limits the contribution of the HPP to a minimum, drastically reducing the mechanical stress on the blades and increasing the HPP system lifetime.
Five inconspicuous containers on the site contain around 61,000 lithium-ion battery cells with a total output of 10 MW (8 MW primary control plus 2 MW output for charging management). If the power system requires a primary control reserve at short notice, this is largely provided at the site by the Blue Battery, which is then always charged directly by the hydropower plant.
Only in exceptional cases, when the frequency deviations are too strong, a turbine of the hydropower plant is switched on for primary control. This unique combination of storage system and hydropower plant provides the power system with a total of 16 MW of primary control power.
Grid support through the supply of primary control power is an essential part of the energy industry to ensure a stable power grid in Austria and has recently become increasingly important. The reasons for this are, on the one hand, the significant increase in volatile generation units such as wind and solar energy and, on the other hand, the decommissioning of thermal power plants that have been used for grid support.