Lusatia in eastern Germany was once one of the biggest lignite mining regions in Europe and a notorious polluter. But all that is changing. Now the area wants to be known as an innovation hub for clean energy.
Just ask Frank Mehlow, director for business opportunity promotion at energy giant LEAG, that has built a battery storage facility at Schwarze Pumpe near Spremberg, a lignitefired power plant which is due to be decommissioned. With 50MW capacity, the new facility is the biggest of its kind in Europe.
“The battery is a perfect match for the existing power plant infrastructure, as its feed-in stabilizes the grid and forms the basis for a build-up of future energy technology in the area,” Mehlow says. “Schwarze Pumpe has an industrial park attached to it, and the battery will make the park more attractive for investments in electricity-intensive manufacturing.” LEAG is owned jointly by Prague-based Energeticky and Jersey-based PPF Investments.
Battery storage technology will play a vital role in Germany’s energy future, which is enshrined in the Coal Phase-out Act, while the accompanying Structural Development Act (SDA) will see the government invest EUR 40 billion to transform economic structures in the country’s coal-producing areas between now and 2038.