Uniper to invest in battery systems for hydropower

Uniper continue to invest in battery systems for hydropower that quickly can support the electricity grid in the event of sudden faults and deviations. Two new systems will now be installed at the Bodum and Fjällsjö power plants in Jämtland, Sweden, with a total capacity of approximately 12 MW.

Earlier in 2021, Uniper had already commissioned two battery systems at the Edsele power plant in Ångermanland and the Lövön power plant in Jämtland, also located in Sweden, with a total installed capacity of approximately 21 MW. Fortum has similar installations at Forshuvudforsen and Landaforsen with a total capacity of 6 MW.

These investments make Uniper and Fortum the leading players in innovative hybrid systems with the combination of batteries and hydropower. This combination prevents poorer electricity quality and, in the worst case, extensive power outages. Hydropower is responsible for electricity storage, and the battery for rapid frequency adjustment. Thanks to hydropower, the battery does not need to have such a large storage capacity.

“As weather-dependent electricity production is expanded, the need to utilise hydropower’s regulatory capacity also increases. With our battery system in Sweden, we can make better use of the flexibility of hydropower and thus increase the stability of the electricity system”, says David Bryson, Chief Operating Officer of Uniper.

Johan Svenningsson, Chief Executive Officer of Uniper Sweden, adds: “So far, the battery technology has shown great potential and our first operating season has more than met our expectations. Now we are anxious to continue the expansion. We will start the installations at Bodum and Fjällsjö already in October 2021, in order to be able to use the batteries fully in connection with the spring flood in 2022.”

With its stable electricity production and ability to regulate, hydropower has laid the foundation for Swedish welfare and competitiveness. But it is not only in Sweden that Uniper sees a market for the new battery system. The plan is a broader implementation in Europe where Uniper and Fortum are operating power plants.

The battery system will be delivered by the engineering and technology company Nidec Industrial Solutions (NIS), which is part of the Nidec Group.