Coal-dependent Eastern Germany is expected to become Europe’s largest clean energy hub

Coal-fired Boxberg power station in Eastern Germany will host the first phase of building the largest clean energy hub in Europe.

US-based long-duration energy storage maker ESS is partnering with LEAG – the largest power plant operator in eastern Germany, and a major energy provider and operator of coal-fired generation – to build the massive coal-to-clean energy hub.

LEAG is working to transform coal-dependent Eastern Germany into the country’s “Green Powerhouse.” Thorsten Kramer, CEO of LEAG, said:

A key requirement for our transformation into Germany’s Green Powerhouse is the deployment of cost-effective Long-Duration Energy Storage. We are energized to demonstrate the value of iron flow battery technology at scale.

ESS says its iron-based system, which is manufactured near Portland, Oregon, uses safe and sustainable battery chemistry to deliver low-cost, utility-scale energy storage. It’s already deployed in commercial microgrid systems, and utility-scale projects are under way in the US and Australia. 

So, LEAG plans to develop up to 14 gigawatts (GW) of renewable generation paired with 2-3 GWh of energy storage and 2 GW of green hydrogen production for Europe’s largest clean energy hub. The company and its partners plan to invest €200 million, and they anticipate further support from additional investors and stakeholders. 

The first phase will see ESS deliver 50 MW/500 MWh of its iron flow battery system at the Boxberg Power Plant site in Saxony, which will be commissioned in 2027. LEAG considers this first phase to be a building block in its 2-3 GWh of storage plan as it transforms its power plants from fossil fuels to clean energy.

What’s more, this project could serve as a blueprint for coal-dependent regions in the US and other countries to transition off fossil fuels and produce baseload clean energy at scale.

Read more: Pennsylvania’s largest coal plant is shutting down in July

Photo: Blick vom Ohr auf das Kraftwerk in Boxberg/O.L.

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