Compressed-air storage facility Neuenhuntorf:
Power on demand
Neuenhuntorf, between Oldenburg and Bremen, is home to two compressed-air storage facilities. They belong to the only compressed air storage power plant in Germany, which has been in operation since 1978. This power plant can produce about 320 MW of electric power for about three hours. For this, the stored compressed air is combusted together with natural gas in a turbine that drives an electrical generator.
From the mid to late 70s, the former KBB (since 2004 KBB Underground Technologies GmbH) took over planning, supervision and management of the underground business activities such as drilling caverns, including geological interpretation, cavern construction and finally initial filling of the cavern with compressed air. The geometric volume of the two caverns combined is approximately 310,000 cubic metres.
Special features of the two compressed-air storage caverns are: the unusually large diameter of the final cemented casing string of 24″ and the corresponding 20″ pneumatic conveyor pipes. Gas first fill was carried out using submersible pumps and the compressed air delivery pipes had to be particularly corrosion-resistant.
The former Kavernen Bau- und Betriebs-GmbH (since 2004, KBB Underground Technologies GmbH) has been supporting the operating company with cavern maintenance and production casing replacement since the compressed air power station was commissioned.
Compressed air storage power plants are set to become ever more important in the future as a way of balancing out fluctuations in energy supply from sources such as wind power.