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REMONDIS’ Lippe Plant is soon to be home to the largest second use battery storage unit currently to be found in the world. Due to start operations at the beginning of next year, this system is to be run by a joint venture consisting of Daimler AG, The Mobility House AG and GETEC on REMONDIS SE’s grounds. The power produced by the unit will be marketed in Germany to help level out fluctuations in the power grid. The special feature of this project is its use of used battery systems from electric cars. Systems from second-generation smart electric drive vehicles are to be incorporated into a stationary storage unit in Lünen which will have a total capacity 13 MWh. This scheme will help improve the environmental performance of electric vehicles and make e-mobility more economical. It was not a coincidence that REMONDIS was selected to join the group. REMONDIS Industrie Service is currently developing new ways to recycle lithium-ion batteries when they reach the end of their useful life.
Following their motto – ‘E-mobility thought through to the end’ – Daimler, The Mobility House, GETEC and REMONDIS have initiated this project in Lünen that covers the whole of the life cycle of a battery: from the production and processing of the battery systems at Daimler’s subsidiary, ACCUMOTIVE, to the range of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles offered by Daimler AG, to the installation and marketing of the stationary battery storage unit to the energy markets by The Mobility House and GETEC, all the way through to the recycling of the battery systems by REMONDIS when they reach the end of their useful life and the recovery of the valuable raw materials so that they can be returned to production cycles.
High performance battery storage units will be an essential part of the energy market if Germany’s goal of switching from fossil to renewable energy is to be a success. They will be key to stabilising the grid as more and more electricity is provided by fluctuating renewable energy sources, such as wind farms and solar power stations. They can level out the dips in the energy supply with virtually no loss – a task partly being done at the moment by power stations run on fossil fuels. All this can help speed up Germany’s transition to renewable energy and prevent money having to be spent on extending the grid or building new power stations.
The European Waste Framework Directive implemented perfectly: first re-use, then materials recycling.
Thanks to this second use battery storage project in Lünen, the four partners are clearly showing that the life cycle of a plug-in or electric vehicle battery need not come to an end when it can no longer be used in a vehicle. Depending on the model of vehicle, Daimler AG offers its electric vehicle customers a battery life guarantee of up to ten years. The battery systems, however, are still fully operational after this period, as the low levels of power loss are insignificant when used in a stationary storage unit. In fact, it is estimated that they can continue to operate efficiently as a stationary unit for at least a further ten years.
It will, therefore, be a while before the final stage of the chain – recycling the batteries to recover the raw materials – is actually put into practice. The commercial service life of lithium-ion modules from electric cars will be practically doubled by re-using them in the second use battery storage unit. This innovative project, therefore, meets one of the primary demands of the European Waste Framework Directive as set out in its five-stage waste hierarchy: that the re-use of products should be given preference to materials recycling. Mobility experts are expecting the number of electric cars on our roads to increase rapidly over the coming years. The number of used li-ion batteries being handed in for recycling will rise accordingly. Together with REMONDIS, Daimler, The Mobility House and GETEC have laid the foundation for the best possible re-use of these batteries and sustainably closed the life cycle of this relatively new product.
Klemens Rethmann, Board Spokesman of the RETHMANN Group, Uwe Beckmeyer, Parliamentary State Secretary in the German Economy and Energy Ministry, Dr Dieter Zetsche, CEO Daimler, Dr Karl Gerhold, CEO GETEC, and Thomas Raffeiner, CEO The Mobility House, at the groundbreaking ceremony at the Lippe Plant
REMONDIS is one of the world’s largest recycling, service and water companies. One of REMONDIS’ future goals is to recycle lithium-ion batteries on an industrial scale. The group operates in Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia to provide a sustainable supply of raw materials and water.
The Mobility House AG (TMH) is revolutionising the energy markets with its vehicle batteries. Using innovative technologies, TMH is making it possible to integrate electric vehicles into the power grid. TMH is working with GETEC in Lünen to install and operate the storage unit – and to sell the electricity to energy markets. Founded in 2009, TMH collaborates with all leading automotive manufacturers in more than 20 countries from its sites in Munich, Zurich and San Francisco.
Daimler AG is one of the world’s most successful automotive companies. The Mercedes-Benz brand stands for high-quality vehicles that both fascinate and delight its customers. The company is also the world’s largest producer of commercial vehicles, operating in a variety of business sectors. It entered the stationary energy storage sector together with its subsidiary ACCUMOTIVE in May 2015 – covering both industrial mass storage and private applications.
GETEC ENERGIE AG, a company belonging to the energy service provider GETEC, develops bespoke solutions for supplying electricity and gas. It also markets energy. GETEC and TMH are both shareholders of Coulomb GmbH.