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Mercedes-Benz Continues Effort to Build Greener Future for All

Words Chris Danielson | December 10, 2020
Coupling of hydropower plants with automotive lithium-ion energy storage systems stabilizes the effects of any volatile electrical impact from the grid to the units and increases the flexibility of hydropower plants
Words Chris Danielson December 10, 2020

Mercedes-Benz Energy GmbH, subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz AG and international supplier of automotive energy storage systems and international technology group ANDRITZ, one of the globally leading suppliers of electro-mechanical equipment and services for hydropower stations, have signed a cooperation agreement to supply modern hybrid energy solutions for the hydropower market based on stationary energy storage systems.

Mercedes-Benz Energy and ANDRITZ sign cooperation agreement to supply stationary energy storage systems for hydropower plants

Mercedes-Benz Energy and ANDRITZ sign cooperation agreement to supply stationary energy storage systems for hydropower plants

The hybrid energy solution offered by Mercedes-Benz Energy and ANDRITZ combines a hydropower unit with a stationary energy storage, based on automotive lithium-ion battery systems from Mercedes-Benz. Compared to a conventional hydropower application, it can enhance the operational range of the unit according to the size of the battery. The stored energy, which is made available very quickly, offers new opportunities for power plant owners and operators to compensate any volatile electrical impact from the grid to the units. This can extend the lifetime of mechanical components. In addition, the hybrid solution opens up new approaches to providing grid services and features like black-start support and virtual inertia. Even with changing water regulations and unknown future legal requirements, the solution guarantees highest operational flexibility of the hydropower plant.

Gordon Gassmann, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Energy GmbH: “The close interlinking of the energy and automotive industries is essential on the way to CO2 neutrality. With its innovative energy storage solutions, Mercedes-Benz Energy GmbH forms the bridge between the two sectors. The intelligent use of automotive battery systems is an ecologically important approach – not least with a view to resource efficiency. The cooperation with ANDRITZ has great potential for our energy storage systems and we look forward to the joint cooperation.”

The system can be applied to all types and sizes of hydropower plant (low head, run-of-river, high head) and to all turbine types. It can be installed either in greenfield applications or retrofitted to existing facilities, covering battery capacities from 200 kWh up to 10 MWh.

Dr. Martin Zimmermann, Head of Global Service & Parts Mercedes-Benz Cars: “The battery is one of the most valuable components in the vehicle. So when calculating the economic benefits of local emission-free driving, it is also important to keep the battery in circulation as long as possible. We rely on concepts that enable high-quality recovery of valuable components and materials: Reuse, remanufacturing and recycling.
Mercedes-Benz with its wholly-owned subsidiary Mercedes-Benz Energy have focused in particular on reuse in the form of stationary energy storage systems: because the lifecycle of a plug-in or electric vehicle battery does not have to end after the vehicle’s operating life; they can be used for stationary battery storage devices.”

The change in the global energy market – from fossil fuel-based power generation to a carbon-free renewable future – brings along many structural changes. The best way to deal with this is to combine the best features of all involved systems – a hybrid solution. Hybrid energy solutions are defined as a combination of technologies from one or more generations, involving at least one renewable energy source, and an energy storage system that ensures maximum reliability and security of the energy supply.

This cooperation of Mercedes-Benz Energy and ANDRITZ fuses a long history of success and market-leading expertise in hydropower and innovative battery technology that opens up new opportunities for the hydropower market.