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RWE commissions ESS with second life batteries from Audi


The Essen-based international energy company RWE has partnered with Audi in the set up of a energy storage system of up to 4.5 MWh, using batteries from Audi vehicles. The system, located in Herdecke, North Rhine-Westphalia, hosts 60 battery packs and will be able to provide temporary energy storage at a pumped-storage power plant at the Hengsteysee reservoir operated by RWE.


The decommissioned batteries supplied for the project come from Audi e-tron development vehicles. The partners estimate that the batteries, depending on how they are used, could still have a remaining service life of one to ten years.


RWE expects to begin marketing the storage capacity of its second-life battery storage system in early 2022, initially to support the powergrid as part of frequency maintenance. After that, the company plans to flexibly test other marketing methods. RWE intends to draw on the insights gained from the reference storage system in Herdecke to build and operate larger storage systems based on EV batteries in the future. This will involve an innovative system in which pairs of modules are connected in series, thus boosting the operating voltage and reducing costs.


RWE is currently expanding in the energy storage market with another nine projects in the US, Germany and Ireland. In parallel, the company is working on projects such as redox flow batteries and battery storage systems with a virtual connection to hydropower stations. By 2030, the company will have increased its battery storage capacity from the current level of 600 megawatts to 3 gigawatts.


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