Large-scale European battery project offers sustainable alternative to stabilize power grid
LRM and REstore join forces to develop unique battery project on Terhills site
Dilsen-Stokkem – On Monday 14 May 2018, 140 large batteries, yielding 18 megawatts of power, will be officially inaugurated. These 140 Tesla-supplied batteries have officially been integrated into the primary reserve of Elia, the national grid administrator. To help prevent imbalances in the power grid, REstore has intelligently linked this 18 MW battery to other industrial consumers, in one large virtual power plant of 30 to 40 MWs. This energy innovation provides a sustainable alternative to powering up gas plants to balance out the grid. In the second stage, part of the battery capacity will be used to provide the Terhills holiday resort with sustainable power. Further down the line, this holiday park will also run on direct current, instead of on the usual alternating current. Limburg investment company LRM is the investor backing the energy project, joining forces with REstore. The batteries are located in the Terhills SME park in Dilsen-Stokkem and involve an 11-million-euro investment.
Limburg investment company LRM's assignment is to transform the former mining site at Eisden, with its unique industrial heritage, into a supraregional tourist destination. LRM will build a holiday resort of 250 holiday villas beside the large gravel pit, in a recreation zone, near the National Park Hoge Kempen. Thanks to the site's unique nature and location, LRM has made the strategic choice to bank on sustainability as much as possible for this repurposing operation.
The 1,500-m² energy project was built in the Terhills business park in Dilsen-Stokken, next to the Infrax power station. The 140 batteries, supplied by Tesla, can store 18 megawatts of energy. Energy tech company REstore is cleverly combining this battery with different industrial consumers, turning it into an even larger virtual power plant, which is deployed in Elia's primary reserve in order to absorb imbalances on the power grid. This unique combination not only maximizes value for the participants, but also boosts reliability.
The project provides a sustainable alternative to powering up gas plants to balance out the grid. The energy that's stored in the batteries is sustainable, guaranteed to come from solar and wind sources.
“This unique energy project is not just perfectly in line with LRM's climate investment plan, which was rolled out to help attain the Flemish climate goals, but also with our views on innovation and sustainability," says Stijn Bijnens, CEO of LRM. "The batteries' function will be twofold: chiefly, they'll be used for Elia's primary reserve and to help balance out the power grid. Secondly, they fit in with the well-thought-out energy strategy for the planned holiday resort on the site.
In the future; the Terhills resort will also be the first vacation park to run on direct current. The Terhills site will boast two solar parks, both on land and on water. Solar panels generate direct current, which will immediately be usable at the Terhills resort, without needing to be converted. That means that, at the holiday park, you won't need transformers to use domestic appliances or to charge your phone. Without the need for conversion, less energy is lost."
“Right now, this 18-MW Tesla battery is one of the largest batteries in Europe taking part in the primary reserve,” says Jan-Willem Rombouts, co-founder and co-CEO of REstore. "What makes this battery project unique is that it's part of a larger flexibility portfolio. REstore's energy technology combines flexibility from industrial consumers with this 18-MW Tesla battery in real time. This smart combination ensures we can maximize value for the participants and boost reliability. In this respect, REstore is an international authority.”
Flemish energy policy
Flemish minister for Energy, Bart Tommelein, attended the inauguration to show his support for this energy innovation. "Power storage is a cornerstone of the energy model of the future. Especially if that storage can also be utilized for the primary reserve. That way, we can guarantee grid stability. The fact that Flemish technology is at the heart of this world-first project, proves that Flanders is blazing trails for innovation and development.
For the battery project's official inauguration, LRM and REstore are today organizing an opening event for European, national, and local representatives and decision makers. With speakers from Belgium and abroad, LRM and REstore will kick off the inauguration, which entails a guided tour of the battery park and a festive networking event.