New system by RWE and Outokumpu to optimize energy consumption and stabilize the power grid

October 29, 2021

New system by RWE and Outokumpu to optimize energy consumption and stabilize the power grid

Today, RWE Supply & Trading and Outokumpu have put a new type of power generation and storage system into operation that will help to stabilize the power grid and enhance flexibility. It is located at the Outokumpu mill in Krefeld, Germany and consists of a 3.3 megawatt battery storage unit coupled with three 1 megawatt gas turbines. The system is a joint project designed and built by RWE, and RWE will also operate it remotely. To enable this to happen, Outokumpu has modified its roll stands. The two companies will share the results of the optimization over a period of ten years.

For energy-intensive production companies such as Outokumpu, electricity is a crucial cost factor. During peak times, when the roll stands in Krefeld are running at high utilization, the Outokumpu mill has a particularly high demand for electricity. These load peaks put stress on the power grid as the grid operator has to intervene to ensure that the required electricity is available at short notice. Considering the increasing feed-ins of electricity from renewables, this presents challenges due to weather dependency, as the same amount of power is not available on the grid at all times. In addition, Outokumpu needs to purchase electricity at peak times and therefore at relatively high prices.

The new RWE system is now helping the Krefeld mill to reduce electricity costs – and it also takes pressure off the grid as the combination of batteries and gas-powered generators now supplies electricity during peak times. Interventions by the grid operator will not be required as frequently as before. To ensure that the combined system and the roll stands work effectively together, Outokumpu has, so to speak, “optimized them for the energy market”. Thus, the system can also be utilized in the flexibility market. This means that in times when too much or too little electricity from renewables is available on the electricity market, additional electricity can be fed in or production can be adjusted accordingly.

As Hendrik Niebaum, Head of Commodity Solutions at RWE Supply & Trading, points out: “The increasing expansion of renewables poses new challenges on the power grid. Reconciling their increasing volatility with the industry’s demands is one of them. Our intelligent energy management solutions help to relieve the load on the grid as well as optimize flexibility and generate revenue for our customers at the same time. I am looking forward to realizing this project together with our partner Outokumpu.”

Dr. Cem Kurutas, Managing Director and VP Operations Krefeld emphasizes: “The stainless steel market is highly competitive and attracts both European and Asian suppliers. In order to keep Germany competitive as a production location in this challenging market environment over the long term, we have to optimize our energy consumption and our cost structure. Our partnership with RWE provides an important building block in this endeavor, and also supports Germany as an economic location and helps driving the energy transition.”

Eckart Preen, Head of Economic Affairs Krefeld and Managing Director of Business Development Krefeld, welcomes the joint project: “The Industry Park in Krefeld is a crucial factor for Krefeld as business location, and its future-oriented development is therefore a central concern for us. The long-term cooperation between RWE and Outokumpu with this project contributes to strengthening the Industry Park and thus also to strengthening the economy in the region. We welcome this cooperation project, as after all, utilizing synergies is a central component of long-term success.”

Photo: Courtesy of RWE/Klaus Görgen

For more information please contact:

Claudia Fischer
Communications Manager Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 2151 832123
Mobile: +49 (0) 176 56907575
Regina Wolter
Media Office
RWE Supply & Trading GmbH
Phone: +49 (0) 201 5179-5024
Mobile: +49 (0) 152 06855300E-mail: