Electricity

NGEN developing 1.6 GWh of battery systems in Europe

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Photo: NGEN

Published

June 4, 2024

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Published:

June 4, 2024

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NGEN, a Slovenian provider of digitalized energy storage and management solutions, is currently developing 1.6 GWh of battery systems in European countries. The installation of these systems is expected to begin in the next three years, according to Roman Bernard, the company’s co-founder and CEO.

A battery system for German energy company Uniper, for which a contract was recently signed, is one of the projects where NGEN will implement its innovative solutions for electricity storage, flexibility services, and smart grid management. The other projects are located in Italy, Portugal, Poland, Croatia, and Austria.

At NGEN’s annual press conference, Roman Bernard emphasized at that the deal with Uniper, an important player in the European, and especially the German market, is a turning point. The job does not only involve the construction of a 50 MW energy storage system, but also introduces a partnership on a number of planned joint projects.

“The contract carries great responsibility, but also an opportunity for NGEN to expand even further in the European market. I think that something more will come out of it, besides this one project. Both companies can make a lot of progress by exchanging know-how and experience,” said Bernard.

NGEN is building an 80 MW battery near Salzburg

Bernard recently spoke at Belgrade Energy Forum 2024 about the solutions that battery systems offer for challenges in the energy transition. He took part in two BEF panels – ‘Solutions on the horizon for overcoming grid challenges’ and ‘Accelerating battery storage in South Eastern Europe: challenges, solutions, outlook.’

In 2019, NGEN installed Europe’s largest battery system for energy company Tesla (Tesla Powerpack), and in 2023 it built the biggest battery in Austria.

NGEN is currently implementing an even bigger project in Austria – Wagenham near Salzburg, with a capacity of 80 MW. In Slovenia, it is developing the largest battery – Talum, with a capacity of 70 MW – in a EUR 70 million investment.

 ngen-plans-austria-battery-wagenham

In about a year and a half, NGEN will have a total of 500 MWh of batteries in Slovenia, more than double compared to the current 200 MWh.

“NGEN is the owner of all the energy storage systems it has installed, and offers their services on the market. For example, to the transmission system operator in Austria,” Bernard noted. These installations offer solutions that help transmission system operators, energy suppliers, and end consumers, he explained.

The new battery system in Austria will offer services to the operator, but also on the balancing and congestion markets.

Batteries in households will reduce grid investments

ngen-plans-germany-battery-uniper-heyden

Bernard says that small consumers, households, should not be neglected because they will play a big role in the decentralized energy system of the future. In that context, he recalls that the Slovenian government has decided to subsidize around 40% of investment in the installation of batteries in households with EUR 150 million. This move, according to him, is in line with the principle that batteries should be installed at places where energy is generated so that surpluses can be stored instead of being fed to the grid.

If citizens got involved, it would bring a further EUR 250 million in investment and the installation of batteries with a total power of 300 MW and a capacity of 1,000 MWh.

“When these small batteries are connected through our system, they work as one big battery, and that’s why I’m convinced that the biggest battery will be in our homes, not large systems,” he said.

An additional benefit is that such a battery would reduce investments in the distribution and transmission network by EUR 2 billion.

NGEN is building apartments for engineers

As growth accelerates, according to Bernard, the company’s needs to expand, so in two weeks it will start building a new research and development center as well as 40 apartments for new employees.

“The new building will house teams for hardware, solutions for end users and industry, digitalization, and software under our SG Connect brand,” he said.

The apartments are intended for future employees, he said, adding employees already come from other countries outside the company wants to offer them better conditions. The plan is to hire about 100 engineers, he stressed.

“We aim to be the best, and for that we need the best staff,” says Bernard.

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