Stationary battery manufacturer Hithium and solar project EPC provider Solarpro have announced a strategic partnership, with their first project to be in Bulgaria. Hithium will supply the battery products to a 55 MWh energy storage project, for which Solarpro is providing turnkey EPC services. The new plant will support an existing 33 MWp photovoltaic installation in the southwest Bulgarian town of Razlog. With construction of the new facility planned for the start of 2024, it is the largest battery energy storage project already underway in southeast Europe.

“As the region’s utility-scale solar production ramps up, energy storage is gaining importance since it enables us to deliver solar-generated energy more reliably,” said Solarpro CEO, Krasen Mateev. We have been working on preparation, engineering and development on the joint solution over the past months for this landmark project. We are dedicated to lead the energy transition adding new technologies in our product portfolio.”

Hithium will supply 16 energy storage containers with a 3.44 MWh capacity, based on the company’s 280 amp-hour cells, which are said to exhibit a very long expected lifespan. They also feature a wide operating temperature range, so the new project is anticipated to be able to run uninterrupted even in extreme weather. Along with their multi-stage, active fire protection system, Hithium’s containers achieve high thermal stability with liquid instead of air cooling, which also enables them to save space and increases the product’s energy density.

The BESS owner will be a subsidiary of the Vienna-based Renalfa IPP.  The investor decided to co-locate the big battery within the existing 33 MWp capacity PV plant. The solar farm is equipped by a photovoltaic tracker mounting system, along with its own substation. The area where the plant is situated has some of Bulgaria’s highest levels of insolation, providing an exceptional degree of electricity generation.