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Eesti Energia to install large-scale storage device by early 2025

Auvere electricity plant.
Auvere electricity plant. Source: Rene Kundla/ERR

Eesti Energia will build its first large-scale storage device at the Auvere industrial complex later this year. The goal is to balance the fluctuations in electricity prices caused by the growth in renewable energy production as well as to support the stability of the electrical system.

According to a press release, the investment in battery storage will help Eesti Energia increase the use of electricity produced from renewable energy sources, while also ensuring more stable prices for end consumers. The storage facility will be operational by the beginning of 2025, at the same time as the Baltic countries are disconnected from the Russian electricity grid.

The international procurement organized by the energy company was won by the joint tender of Diotech OÜ and Solar Wheel OÜ, with LG Energy Solution supplying the battery technology. The capacity of the new storage device will be 26.5 megawatt hours (MWh) and 53.1 MWh. This is a pilot project to ensure the solution is suitable both in Estonia and the company's other retail markets.

According to Eesti Energia management board member Kristjan Kuhi, the key to a fast and affordable green transition that ensures self-sufficiency in energy is electrification based on renewable energy, in which energy storage plays a major part.

"The quickest way to ensure affordable electricity for consumers and the independence of the Estonian energy system is to switch to renewable energy as soon as possible," Kuhi said.

"Since the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine all the time, energy needs to be stored. One solution for storing renewable energy is using large-scale energy storage devices. With such solutions we could prevent the extremely high electricity prices as we experienced recently. Sufficient storage capacity helps ensure affordable electricity prices, the reliability of the energy system and a more efficient use of renewable energy."

The storage device's location in the Auvere industrial complex will increase its competitiveness, enable more efficient energy production and increase the use of renewable energy in the complex.

"We are honored to contribute to Eesti Energia's energy plan for desynchronization in the Baltic countries," said Kyuwon Heo, head of Grid ESS Europe at LG Energy Solution. "Our cutting-edge technology and collaborative approach will pave the way for a sustainable energy environment in Estonia, fostering innovation and resilience in the face of energy challenges."

The capacity of the new system corresponds to 2 hours of consumption for approximately 75, 000 households. A large-scale storage device enables Eesti Energia to participate in power exchange as well as other electricity markets to ensure the security of electricity supply. It would also fully cover the FCR frequency reserve need in the Baltics.

According to Diotech OÜ management board member Mart Moora, the company's mission is to accelerate society's transition to carbon-neutral electricity production and consumption.

"To serve our mission, we have deliberately developed over several years the ability to design and build battery technologies, as they are key in making renewable energy production controllable," said Moora.

"We are honored to bring LG Energy Solution's state-of-the-art storage systems to the Estonian market and to cooperate with Eesti Energia in this pilot project. We will do our best to ensure that the system we are building performs as expected and that the pilot project meets everyone's expectations."

Eesti Energia announced a procurement for the supplier of the large-scale storage device in summer 2023. The device is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2025.

Editor: Michael Cole

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