In the deep midwinter when the Sun don’t shine and the wind don’t blow, world’s biggest turbine generators and hydro-power back-up begin operating (in Germany)

The world's biggest wind turbine and hydro power project starts generating deep in the German midwinter.
The world’s biggest wind turbine and hydro power project starts generating deep in the German midwinter.

As of today, green electricity is being generated by the world’s highest onshore wind power plant after a total of four turbines with hub heights of up to 178 meters were erected by near Gaildorf in Germany.

It took just over one and a half years since the first cut of the spade until the first kilowatt hour of wind power fed into the grid. Each year, the four turbines will generate more than 10 GWh of electricity each – enough for 10,000 four-person households.

But the construction of the wind power towers and the connection to the power grid are only part of the overall project. At the end of 2018, the water battery – the so-called ‘Naturstromspeicher’ (natural energy storage) Gaildorf – will go online.

This is a flexible short-term storage, consisting of pools in the tower foundations of wind turbines, a pumped storage power plant and a lower basin in the valley.

If required, additional 70 megawatt hours (MWh), ie up to 4 hours of stored electricity, can be fed in and contribute to grid stability.

The storage concept operates extremely flexible and can switch between electricity production and storage within 30 seconds, thus enabling a short-term adjustment to the needs of the electricity market.

Gaildorf provost (mayor) Frank Zimmermann commented: “Something new is being developed here, something unique so far.

“The use of wind power paired with state-of-the-art pumped storage technology as another important short-term storage for a successful energy turnaround – a convincing concept for me.

 “During the entire planning and construction phase, the great added value of the natural-energy storage for man and nature was worked out with good and provable arguments and communicated transparently to the public.”

21 Dec 2017


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