Nidec ASI wins STEAG contract for 90 MW energy storage system in Germany

Modular system

Nidec ASI will provide six 15 MW systems, each containing five 3 MW units. Each of these includes power converters, transformer, batteries and the control system – a key element for energy management – which are mounted inside the container for easy transportation and installation in a ‘plug and play’ solution.

For the new STEAG project, Nidec ASI worked closely with LG Chem, which has provided new-generation lithium-ion batteries developed specifically for this type of application.

Nidec ASI’s German subsidiary will take on the role of Main Contractor for Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC), responsible for plant installation and commissioning.

Utility-scale systems

Nidec ASI – created in 2012 when Japanese multinational Nidec acquired Ansaldo Sistemi Industriali in Italy – was awarded the contract thanks to its accumulation of excellent references in recent years in the ‘utility-scale’ sector. The company is one of the first to focus and invest in technology in this rapidly expanding sector as part of its growth strategy.

Over the last two years, Nidec ASI has delivered solutions worldwide, including those produced for French islands including La Réunion, Corsica, and French Guiana. The company also has significant and innovative experience in Italy with Terna, and building a smart microgrid in Chile with Enel Green Power.

Energy transition in Germany

‘The planned closure of all nuclear power plants in Germany by 2022 poses a significant technological challenge in the transport and storage of electricity from multiple sources,’ explains Giovanni Barra, CEO of Nidec ASI.

‘Nidec ASI provides the technological innovation of its management system and storage control, which allows the release of electricity to the grid within milliseconds to strengthen its stability, and also offers experience in managing such complex projects.’

A key factor in Nidec ASI’s success is its innovative control system, or Power Management System (PMS), developed through extensive experience and international work in the field.

Operation of energy storage system

The electric energy storage system is based on several key elements. A system of electrochemical batteries is connected to the main grid via a drive system developed by Nidec ASI. The electricity is stored in batteries, or fed into the grid through the inverter.

The system stores energy when there is excess production, feeding it back to the grid when demand exceeds availability. This mechanism stabilises the network, avoiding sudden power imbalances that could cause a blackout.

Real-time response

These storage systems must act in real time and in perfect sync with the frequency and voltage of the electricity grid. The innovative technology of Nidec ASI’s control system and inverters, together with the capacity of the batteries, allows a fast response to variations in load with high precision.

Nidec ASI has developed this Power Management System based on 50 years of experience in providing power electronics for industry. Operating worldwide and in areas with a strong focus on energy flows, such as the steel industry, it has extensive experience in the management of clean electricity to and from power grids.

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