Thanks to the GIGA battery, green electricity is also available without wind or sun
A few months ago, project developer GIGA Storage commissioned the Netherlands’ largest battery in the town of Lelystad. Eneco will deploy the ‘GIGA Buffalo’ to balance out peak demand for energy with renewable power stored in this battery. All recent developments suggest that this type of enormous battery will become of great importance in accelerating the energy transition and thus achieving the Dutch climate objectives.
“Many people take it for granted that we switch on the lights and turn on the heating when we want to. With the introduction of renewable energy, this is changing”, says Fredrik Troost, Senior Structurer at Energy Company Eneco, which has the ambition to be climate neutral by 2035.
SURPLUSES AND SHORTAGES
The increasing numbers of wind turbines and solar panels are not as easy to control as the on and off switch of a gas-fired power station, Troost explains. “When the demand for sustainable electricity from wind and sun is greater than the supply, we are still diverting energy from gas-fired power stations at the moment. A crucial step in achieving our climate ambition and speeding up the energy transition is to ensure that we can meet the demand for energy entirely from sustainable resources.”
The GIGA Buffalo plays an important role in this. The battery can temporarily store a surplus of green power and make it available as soon as shortages arise when demand exceeds supply. So, it works as an ‘energy storage facility’ that balances supply and demand of sustainable energy.
16 MILLION AA BATTERIES
GIGA Storage developed the technology for this, while Eneco was responsible for its deployment on the energy market. These are two different focus areas that cannot exist without each other. “This only came to fruition through close collaboration”, says Ruud Nijs, CEO of GIGA Storage.
The GIGA Buffalo was commissioned in September 2022. The battery has an electric power potential of 25 megawatts and a capacity of 48 MWh. “That is about the volume of 16 million AA batteries,” Troost says. “Or 900 Teslas model 3,” Nijs adds.
It is evident that the GIGA Buffalo boosts the sustainability of our electricity supply. But how sustainable is the manufacturing process of this enormous battery? GIGA Storage recently asked Citys Consultancy to calculate this. The CO2 emissions generated during the whole cycle – from lithium mining to the dismantling and recycling of the battery – can be offset by using the battery for about six months.
The Buffalo ensures impact on the grid in technical terms and contributes significantly to the industry itself. “It has given the energy world an extra boost to get moving,” Nijs says. “I have noticed more and more competition since we started, but I would rather call these ‘competitors’ colleagues because there is a lot of work to do.”
This article was created and published in Dutch by the commercial editorial office of NU.nl and translated into English by GIGA storage.