Dutch utility Eneco is planning a 50MW/200MWh battery storage project in Belgium for commissioning next year, and called for more policy action on storage from its own government in the Netherlands.
The Rotterdam-based company announced today (7 June) that the battery energy storage project has received permits and that preparatory studies are underway to have it operational by the end of 2024.
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The 4-hour duration project in Ville-sur-Haine, Wallonia, will be comprised of 53 Tesla Megapacks. It will help balance the electricity grid in Belgium, operated by transmission operator Elia, as more renewables come online.
“We are strengthening our renewable energy activities in order to contribute to reducing CO2 emissions. In this regard, energy storage is very important to absorb the fluctuations of renewable energy. This project is an important step for us towards a CO2-neutral energy system in 2035,” said Tine Deheegher, manager Renewable Energy Solutions at Eneco.
The project appears to be getting the go-ahead at a second attempt. Numerous local news reports last year said that Eneco had a 50MW project in Ville-sur-Haine rejected by the local Roeulx commune authority.
It could be the largest project by MWh capacity in Belgium when it comes online, with the two largest operational systems today both 100MWh each. However, energy firm Engie recently sought permits for three projects totalling 380MW, one of which has a 200MW power rating meaning it would almost certainly be larger.
Battery systems in Belgium can provide FCR and aFRR frequency response services but the longer durations being deployed indicate a move towards heavier-cycling activities like energy trading and capacity provision.
Eneco’s media statement announcing the project then went on to call for more from the government in the Netherlands to foster the deployment of energy storage to decarbonise.
“With this project, Eneco is taking a new step towards a fully sustainable energy system in Belgium and fulfilling the One Planet Plan with the ambition of being fully climate neutral by 2035,” it read, before pointing out that the Netherlands needs 10GW of battery storage by 2030 but presently has only 300MW installed.
“We call on the Dutch government to learn from policies in Belgium and Germany so that the Netherlands can actually achieve a climate-neutral electricity supply by 2035.”
Energy-Storage.news wrote at-length about the challenges for battery storage developers in the Dutch market in a recent interview with developer Lion Storage conducted at the Energy Storage Summit EU in London earlier this year.
Eneco has been majority-owned by Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi since 2020. Mitsubishi Power, part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, is a major battery storage system integrator.