The Netherlands is set to install that country’s largest energy storage system in an effort to support power grid stability.
Technology group Wärtsilä on Dec. 20 said it will supply a 25-MW/48-MWh storage system to GIGA Storage BV, a Netherlands-based energy storage company with multiple projects under development, including several hybrid renewable energy-plus-storage systems.
The project announced Monday, called the GIGA Buffalo battery, will be co-located with solar and wind power assets at the Widnet smart grid. The Widnet grid is located at the Wageningen University & Research test center in Lelystad, site of GIGA’s earlier Rhino project with a 12-MW battery next to the Neushoorntocht wind farm. The Rhino battery was installed in 2020.
Wärtsilä on Monday said it expects the Buffalo project will be operational in October 2022.
“The Buffalo battery will help stabilize the Netherlands’ electricity grid and save a maximum of 23,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year,” said Maarten Quist, chief operating officer for GIGA Storage. “We’re pleased to work with Wärtsilä to implement this landmark project, which will help us reach our goal of deploying 1.5 GW of energy storage in Europe by 2025.”
Eneco Will Utilize System
Eneco, a group of energy companies active in the Netherlands, will use the system to support its services, including adding more renewable energy to the power grid. The project is expected to support energy sustainability, and optimize the power system while regulating frequency to help ensure reliability. Eneco earlier this month was named the Netherlands’ most sustainable electricity provider in an annual ranking by Wise, a financial services company, along with environmental organization Natuur & Milieu and the Dutch Consumers’ Association. Eneco is known for its investments in renewable energy, including large rooftop solar installations and offshore wind farms.
The Dutch government has set a goal to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 49% by 2030, and by 95% by 2050. Government officials have said that the growth of renewable energy in the region “has also created congestion on electrical networks, making energy storage a necessity for reliability.” Officials have said the Netherlands will need between 29 and 54 GW of energy storage capacity by 2050 to support a renewables-heavy power grid.
“We are very excited to work with GIGA Storage BV on the Buffalo project, which is an important step to reach their ambitious goal of deploying 1.5 GW of energy storage in Europe by 2025. The project will also help stabilize the Netherlands’ electricity grid and save up to 23,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year,” Pekka Tolonen, Director, Europe, Wärtsilä Energy, told POWER. “All in all, this is a great milestone towards a 100% renewable future.”
Tolonen noted the importance of the project to his group and to the Netherlands as a whole. “Wärtsilä sees a major opportunity and paramount need to help our customers increase energy storage deployment throughout Europe in order to realize a 100% renewable energy future,” he said. “This is an important milestone for Wärtsilä as our first project in the Netherlands. We’re thrilled to add yet another country to our 4-GWh portfolio of market-leading energy storage technology deployments worldwide.”
The Buffalo battery will be the first large-scale energy storage project based on lithium-iron phosphate, or LFP, chemistry in Europe, the companies said Monday. The project will include Wärtsilä’s GridSolv Quantum, an integrated, modular, and compact energy storage system. It also will include the company’s GEMS Digital Energy Platform management system, and Wärtsilä’s Service+ GAP solution, which provides maintenance with performance guarantees. Wärtsilä will supply the energy storage system under an extended equipment delivery and a long-term service agreement.
The Buffalo battery, set for installation next year, will be directly connected to the Mammoettocht and Neushoorntocht wind farms. It also will have a connection to the Solarfields’ solar parks, including Mojo and Dorhout Mees, which will be connected to the smart grid of Windnet and thus to the batteries. GIGA Storage officials said Eneco “will rent the battery for a longer period of time and use it for, among other things, the sustainable balancing of its energy services and to put more sustainable energy on the electricity grid.”
—Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).