”The world we hold so dear will not remain the same without solutions like this,” said Minister for Higher Education and Science Tommy Ahlers when he opened the test facility, which SEAS-NVE and DTU Risø Campustogether with partners have built at Risø. The facility will be used for documenting the potential of hot stone storage facilities to store energy and thereby solve the Gordian knot in the green transition – how we store energy produced by wind and sun for subsequent periods with high demand and low production. Moreover, action is greatly needed, as the Minister stressed:
”The last four years have been the warmest within living memory, and that worries me. I have gone into politics to create change, and that can be accomplished through projects like this. Here, universities, businesses and energy companies have joined forces. We are witnessing outstanding entrepreneurship, and the solution has a potential far beyond the borders of Denmark”.
In the new storage facility at Risø, stones are heated to 600 degrees C using surplus electricity from wind turbines and solar panels. When demand increases, the heat is extracted and passed through a generator, which produces electricity. Residual heat is supplied to homes in the area through district heating.
”We are good at being pioneers in Denmark, and we are part of a large team which has made the idea of a hot stone storage facility come true. Being an energy company, we have a duty and the ability to contribute to the green transition. Among other initiatives, we do that through this project, and we are now facing a very exciting time”, says Jesper Hjulmand, CEO at SEAS-NVE.
He further explains that over the next six months, the project participants will evaluate the measurements before it is decided in which direction the project should move. On a large scale, hot stone storage facilities will be able to supply Denmark with electricity for several days.
The partners – a strong team
The project partners are: SEAS-NVE, DTU, Aarhus University, Dansk Energi, Energinet.dk, EUDP (which has supported the project with research funds) and Rockwool. Niras has been consulting partner at the construction of the new facility at DTU Risø Campus.