🇫🇮 Ilmatar partners with Polar Night Energy to advance sand battery innovation for a revolutionary energy storage solution

Press release from Ilmatar

December 20, 2023

Ilmatar and the Finnish company Polar Night Energy, known for its sand battery innovation, are developing renewable energy storage solutions to maintain and enhance the balance of the electrical grid.

Ilmatar and Polar Night Energy (PNE) have entered into a collaboration agreement. The aim of the collaboration is to explore renewable energy storage using PNE’s sand battery innovation. Energy storage assists in balancing the electrical grid and enhances production profitability.

Ilmatar’s Project Developer Samuel Heino and New Business Development Manager Katja Koponen with Polar Night Energy’s CTO Markku Ylönen and Project Manager Liisa Naskali (from left to right) at Ilmatar’s Humppila-Urjala wind farm. Photo: Marjaana Malkamäki

PNE is developing a version of its highly regarded sand battery that can convert stored heat back into electricity through the P2H2P system (Power-to-Heat-to-Power). The company is initiating a two-year development project to design and commercialise the system. Ilmatar is among the initial partners in PNE’s development efforts.

Ilmatar, one of the leading independent power producers in the Nordics, participates in the development of the new system and will have the first opportunity to invest in the latest version of the sand battery. Ilmatar will offer Polar Night Energy commercial pilot opportunities in its renewable energy production parks as the technology progresses to a suitable stage.

– Developing cost-effective large-scale flexible energy storage methods and solutions in renewable energy production makes sense. That’s why we are engaged in Polar Night Energy’s significant innovation work, says Katja Koponen, Ilmatar’s Business Development Manager.

A notable challenge in weather-dependent energy production is that output is usually at its peak when electricity market prices are low. The companies tackle this challenge by enhancing and developing a flexible energy system, developing new high-capacity energy storage solutions. Simultaneously, new business opportunities are created, and bottlenecks on the electricity grid’s transmission are resolved.

Electricity is supplied from storage to the market during periods of low or no production, while excess energy is stored during peak production times. This prevents grid overload during peak production and balances the availability of renewable electricity in varying weather conditions.

– An energy storage facility integrated into a wind farm facilitates the control of electricity production to the power grid. Similar advances will follow in solar energy as its production grows. Large-scale storage solutions are crucial in our long-term strategy towards cleaner energy, says Markku Ylönen, Chief Technology Officer at Polar Night Energy and adds:

– We value Ilmatar and are thrilled about our collaboration. Ilmatar focuses on wind and solar energy as well as energy storage solutions and doesn’t have combustion-based production – this aligns with our vision. It’s an honour that Ilmatar considers us an important technology partner.

Originally published on 19 December by Ilmatar.

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