‘World’s tallest’ wind turbine gets 70MWh of pumped storage near Stuttgart
The world’s tallest wind turbine to date, under construction at a German wind farm, will be paired with 70MWh of pumped hydro energy storage onsite.
Four wind turbines of 3.4MW rated capacity each are being installed in Gaildorf, near Stuttgart in southern Germany, by Max Bögl Wind, a subsidiary of Max Bögl, a group active in areas from infrastructure delivery to raw materials supply.
The wind farm, in the Limpurg Hills, includes one turbine with a height of 246.5 metres, making it to date the world’s largest on-shore wind turbine. This impressive height was only achievable due to the incorporation of a pumped hydro storage into the wind farm, because its foundations stand inside a natural reservoir used to store water before it is dropped down a hill through more turbines into another pool, generating electricity in the process.
The depth of this reservoir adds another 40 metres to the height of the turbine, Max Bögl Wind said. Each added metre of height can add between 0.5% and 1% to the expected annual energy yield of wind farms while higher hubs mean less wind turbulence. The wind turbines utilise generators from US provider GE (General Electric) and according to some estimates given by GE and Max Bögl Wind, the wind power plant could generate 10GWh of energy annually.
The innovative plant has been in conception since March 2016, when Max Bögl Wind approached GE Renewable Energy with the idea, although original designs called for just 16MW of hydropower. A supply agreement between the two parties was then signed in September that year.
“Without large-scale and forward-looking projects and ideas, the energy transition in Germany cannot succeed,” Max Bögl Wind board member Josef Knitl said.
“With the ‘water battery’ and hybrid towers, we are making wind energy a more attractive and efficient source of clean energy while also setting new records.”