Corre Energy’s underground caverns in Germany now 75% complete

Corre Energy has announced that the underground construction of all four salt caverns at its two Ahaus energy storage projects in Germany is now 75% complete. This represents the equivalent of over 60 hours of storage capacity at each project, with a completed target of 84 hours each and a combined generating capacity of 640 MW.

The Ahaus facility in North Rhine-Westphalia was selected owing to its location between increasing offshore wind power production in the north and the significant power consumption regions to the south. It is close to the future national hydrogen backbone grid (H2-Startnetz) and will complement the regional establishment of an industrial-scale renewables-based green hydrogen value chain.

Permits for underground construction are already in place at Ahaus, and Corre Energy is now amending the existing operating permits from natural gas to air storage as part of the site’s transition to clean energy. Works are being carried out by Solvay, a multinational chemical company, as part of its agreement with Corre Energy to hand over all four salt caverns in an above-ground, build-ready state. Based on the strength of the relationship, Corre Energy is also exploring further potential new locations with Solvay in Germany and southern Europe.

The first Ahaus project is now also backed by the strategic partnership with Eneco, a major Dutch energy company, as announced in January 2024. Eneco is to provide 50% of all development capital and construction equity for the project, at economics to be agreed, as well as becoming the 50% owner of the completed project alongside Corre Energy. Adding to its existing offtake agreement for Corre Energy’s ZW1 project in the Netherlands, Eneco, through its Lichtblick subsidiary in Germany, has also agreed to be the sole offtaker for all of the first project’s electricity output.

Keith McGrane, CEO of Corre Energy, commented: “This latest milestone combined with our recent strategic investment and offtake partnership with Eneco shows vast momentum in Germany, with critical read-across to the rest of our portfolio. With underground construction so advanced, we believe this is the biggest multi-day storage project in development anywhere in the world outside China. With the total German site targeting c€500m of value and 15-year net revenues of c€2bln, our substantial value-creation plans are even closer to being crystalised.”

Philippe Kehren, Solvay’s CEO, said: “Corre Energy’s substantial progress in repurposing Solvay’s salt caverns into efficient clean energy storage solutions is a source of satisfaction for us. These strategic and timely endeavors reinforce our dedication to promoting sustainable energy practices. The transformation of salt caverns is crucial in our collective energy transition, and we anticipate ongoing collaboration to nurture initiatives similar to Corre Energy’s. This reaffirms our joint commitment to advancing clean energy solutions for the future of Europe.”

Project success is further supported by the German Government’s published strategy for electricity storage which sets out plans to speed up the delivery of integrated technology to underpin the country’s future grid. Corre Energy’s technology solution, backed by a global collaboration agreement with Siemens Energy, uses compressed air to store energy for multiple days, with a typical single project delivering 320 MW of generating capacity (26GWh) to help balance the supply and demand of renewable energy.

HTW Editorial Team

HTW Editorial Team

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