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Giga Storage gets go-ahead for 2.4GWh Belgium project, still choosing BESS provider

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Dutch developer Giga Storage has received a permit for construction for its 600MW/2,400MWh BESS project in neighbouring Belgium and will choose the BESS technology provider after summer.

The company announced the approval for the ‘Green Turtle’ battery energy storage system (BESS) project last week and said that it can now proceed with project financing.

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Construction is expected to start on Green Turtle in 2025 for completion in 2028. It will be among the largest BESS projects in Europe when it comes online.

Giga Storage first revealed the project in January, when it said that construction was expected to start this year. Asked why the date had been pushed back, a spokesperson sold Energy-Storage.news that the company “…now has a better idea on the supply chain and building contracts”.

They added that the company is in the process of selecting the BESS supplier and expects to have chosen them after this summer.

When asked what learnings the company had gained from developing such a large project, the spokesperson simply said: “Take your time and be complete.”

Green Turtle is on the former site of a major zinc factory and the land was acquired from the Budé family. A high-voltage transmission line already runs past the site and a new substation will be built by transmission system operator (TSO) Elia.

Discussing how it would commercialise the BESS once operational, the spokesperson said: “In general we will stack revenue models by trading the batteries in the energy markets ourselves, preventing/lowering congestion and by renting out parts of the energy storage capacity.”

In separate news, Giga has appointed global engineering consultancy Mott MacDonald to provide engineering and advisory services on the Leopard Project, a separate large-scale BESS project in Belgium totalling 300MW/1,200MWh that it announced in September last year. The consultancy said the project should be completed and commissioned by 2026.

Company to start building 45MWh project in Netherlands

Giga Storage has also said it will start building its Giraffe project in the Netherlands, its home market, this summer. The project in Westhavenweg has an energy storage capacity of 45MWh and a power output of 10MW, making it (roughly) four-hour system, the company said.

It will be completed in 2025 and provide reserve capacity on the ‘transport network, preventing transport restrictions’ according to a Dutch-language press release. This may be referring to the GOPACS market, a congestion management platform run by TSO TenneT where parties can buy and sell power based on regional imbalances.

The gulf in size between its Green Turtle and Giraffe projects is emblematic of, according to industry commentators, how much more friendly the Belgium market is to the deployment of energy storage.

There are still major challenges around grid, market revenues and local permitting in the Netherlands. In one of its last moves in office, the outgoing government last week allocated €100 million (US$107 million) in operating subsidies to PV co-located energy storage in 2025 to help kickstart the segment’s growth.

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