The Ngen Group, headquartered in Slovenia, has expanded to Carinthia with a major project. A battery storage facility has been built in Arnoldstein for a total of €15 million. This is connected to the Gailitz substation. A total storage capacity of 20.6 MWh is achieved through eight so-called Tesla Megapacks. “We are already planning several locations in Austria,” said company founder Roman Barnard.
We are currently in the application phase and construction is scheduled to begin at the end of 2024. But they don’t want to name the sites yet. Although the plant in Arnoldstein has only just begun operation, expansion is already being considered: “We would like to double our capacity,” says authorized representative Andreas Liuba.
Klagenfurt is not off the table
Ljuba and managing director Matija Dolinar have not yet given up on Klagenfurt, where the project was originally planned: “We avoided the battery storage power plant because we wanted to be considerate of the residents.” There was a protest beforehand. But the state capital remains an option as a location.
There are only a few facilities of this size in Austria like the one in Giltal. According to Österreichs Energie, an e-economy advocacy group, there are only a few power plants operating with battery storage. In a power outage scenario, they can also fill out the critical minutes it takes pumped-storage power plants to start up. “Therefore, you can install the electricity network as an automatic backup,” confirms press spokesman Christian Zoetting.
As a transmission system operator, the Austrian Power Grid (APG) sends a signal when there is too much or too little electricity in the grid. “This determines whether our fully automated system is unloading or loading. This limits peak loads in the network,” says Lyuba, describing the role as a balanced backup provider. “Every storage project is an important building block to be able to better control the network,” says Christoph Schuh, spokesman for APG. The expansion of photovoltaics would also increase short-term volatility.
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