April 15, 2024
Presentation of the Schattendorf electricity storage system

The word “historic” was not mentioned just once on this day, indeed more: it could be “a historic day for all of Europe”, EU Commission director Martin Selmayr said at the press conference in Eisenstadt, after the which electric buses went to Schattendorf Solar Park. Because that’s where the first large-scale storage facility is now located – and was welcomed on site by the Burgenland Energie working band with brass music; Governor Hans Peter Doskozil and Energy CEO Stephan Sharma handed over the storage facility for its intended purpose – trial operation.

Two years ago, Doskozil first visited the German company “CMBlu”, which had the “crazy idea” to transfer organic storage, which is found everywhere in nature, to technology. A year later, the cooperation was decided, “and now the world’s first large battery is going into operation in Burgenland. Something like this is only possible with a partner who drives it forward,” said “CMBlu” founder Peter Geigle.

Presentation of the Schattendorf electricity storage system

Wolfgang Millendorfer

Operation in the “free power wild”

His team – it is 200 strong and operates “Europe’s largest non-lithium research laboratory” in Germany – was invited live to the completion ceremony of the open field storage facility in Schattendorf. A party that Burgenland Energie, represented by CEO Sharma and CFO Reinhard Czerny, celebrated with other partners from the business world and, as per tradition, with an apprentice saying and the breaking of a glass.

The batteries will initially store electricity for around 200 households, or 500 kilowatt hours. In test operations, “excellent laboratory results should come true in nature with electricity,” as Sharma said. “And there is no hope,” said the country’s head Doskozil, “we believe that we can use it to solve the storage problem.”

A certain risk is undisputed, even Doskozil admitted, namely that some things in real operation may not work as imagined, “but no innovation without risk.” From a European point of view, EU Ambassador Selmayr calculated: “Germany wants to be energy independent by 2045, Austria by 2040 and Burgenland by 2030. So we are in the most optimistic and risk-conscious in Europe”.

“Even faster than 2030”

The founder of “CMBlu”, Peter Geigle, also experienced his personal historic moment when he stopped in front of the Schattendorf warehouse. And the motivation for the test operation is great: 2030 is just the ultimate goal, Geigle said with a smile, “we’ll make it sooner and for every year we’re faster, we’ll think of something”.

What it technically means to make Burgenland energy and price self-sufficient using wind power, photovoltaics and organic storage, Sharma put it in a simple example: At the Scheiblhofer winery in Andau, they met in a hall , “50 by 50 meters large and four meters high” – which would be enough space for a storage facility to cover the country’s demand with a total capacity of 300 megawatt hours.

Now is the time for the aforementioned test “in the free lands of electricity”, capacities are to be continuously increased, new deposits from Germany may soon be delivered. First, however, you have to pass the practical test “only more”.

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