The German energy company RWE with large investments in renewable energy and energy storage solutions is deploying 43 batteries from VDL electric buses in a an energy storage system in Moerdijk, the Netherlands, where it will be connected to a steam and gas power plant. The total capacity will be 7.5 MWh.
The batteries, 180 kWh NMC batteries from German Akasol has been in use in the buses in Eindhoven since the delivery in December 2016. They are now replaced with new larger packs. The bus model today come with batteries from CATL, using its cell-to-pack technology, with capacities up to 525 kWh.
According to documentation from Transdev, the operator of the buses, the annual driving distance for each bus was 71,000 kmas of 2018. With an energy consumption of 2.4 kWh per km this means that the batteries have gone through about 950 full equivalent cycles per year equivalent to a potential 5,200 cycles for each battery. If the 7.5 MWh capacity of the new energy storage system would be the actual capacity it would mean a degradation of less than 4%. The longest line the buses have served has been 19 km which means the battery would easily still fulfill its purpose.
RWE is already operating a 4.5 MWh energy storage system in Germany using second life batteries from Audi E-tron test vehicles.
The deployment and the involvement by the three parties, VDL, Transdev and RWE shows how second life battery deployments can be an integrated activity in especially commercial transportation where large amounts of battery packs with similar history can be transferred to energy storage as part of larger update schemes. Something VDL is writing in their press release:
"The aim of project Anubis is to demonstrate and validate an innovative stationary energy storage system based on bus batteries. This will enable the large-scale rollout of such projects, thus contributing to the circular economy in the Netherlands. In the coming years, many batteries are expected to return from electric vehicles. Paul van Vuuren, CEO of VDL Bus & Coach: “In Europe, more than 1,100 VDL electric buses operate in various cities and regions. We therefore expect to learn a lot with project Anubis so that we can start making an important contribution to a future where second-hand bus batteries are used as energy storage systems before being recycled.”"
More information here.