LARGE BATTERY PARKS MARK THE END OF FREE ELECTRICITY
Earlier this week, electricity was free for a large part of the day. Moreover, companies and individuals paying dynamic hourly prices were given refunds. A clear blue sky with plenty of sunshine and strong winds delivered so much sustainably generated electricity that the electricity price became negative.
This is happening more and more often: the Netherlands Association of Renewable Energy (NVDE) expects 50% of the electricity in the Netherlands to come from solar and wind in the course of this year. Once the sun sets and the wind dies down, prices often rise to high levels because gas and coal-fired power stations have to compensate for the lack of sun and wind.
One of the ways to prevent this in the future is the construction of large battery parks that store the sustainable electricity when there is a surplus and return this to the electricity grid in the event of a shortage. TenneT is flooded with proposals.
IN ALL PROVINCES
There are battery parks in Lelystad and Vlissingen, amongst others, where electricity from solar and wind is stored. If it were up to the administrator of the national high voltage grid, TenneT, there would be a number of this type of battery parks in all provinces. The volatility of the amount of electricity from sun and wind causes significant price fluctuations in the daily electricity market.
TenneT recognises the vital role of this type of battery park, but is surprised by the large number of applications. The energy network operator has received applications for connection to the high-voltage grid for a total of 45 gigawatts. In the near future, Tennet expects to need about 10 gigawatts. According to a spokesperson, the applications are ‘mature and green’ and do not always concern locations where batteries are required.
The site of the bankrupt aluminium factory in Delfzijl (source: NOS)
GIGA Storage is to build Europe’s largest battery park in Delfzijl. In the event of an electricity shortage, it should be able to supply seven per cent of the Netherlands with electricity for a while. The batteries will be placed on the site of the former aluminium plant Aldel, which went bankrupt last year because of the high electricity prices.
Because the plant consumed as much electricity as the whole of the city of Groningen, the site has its own connection to the high voltage grid. This type of connection is scarce and expensive, and new construction takes a long time.
The owners of the battery operator have therefore paid twelve million euros to Aldel’s receiver, even before the permit is agreed. Construction will start early next year. A quarter of the factory site, about fifteen football pitches, will be used to house the batteries.
It involves an investment of ‘several hundreds of millions of euros’ according to GIGA Storage’s technical director Maarten Quist. After the receiver has demolished the factory, construction of the battery park will commence with a storage capacity of 1 gigawatt-hour.