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Rolls-Royce deploying biggest BESS in the Netherlands for spring 2023 commissioning


Rolls-Royce is deploying a 30MW/63MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) in the Netherlands, the largest in the country when complete, as well as a 10MWh system in southern Germany.

Developer SemperPower has launched the start of construction for Project Castor, a 2.1 hour-duration system at an energy hub of the North Sea Port in Vlissingen-Oost in the southeast of the country. The system will come online in the spring of 2023.

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Aerospace and defence company Rolls-Royce is providing the BESS under an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) agreement. The system will support the integration of new renewable energy resources into the Dutch grid. A press release was not more specific, but this could be done by alleviating the intermittency of wind and solar as well as providing frequency response services.

SemperPower commissioned its first utility-scale energy storage system 12 months ago when it turned on a 10MW system in Terneuzen, Netherlands (pictured).

Rolls-Royce has been delivering BESS solutions for several years now through its Power Systems division. In 2020, reported on projects the company was delivering in Costa Rica and Rarotonga in the South Pacific, but the new project in the Netherlands is substantially larger.

It eclipses the size of GIGA Buffalo, the largest operational system in the country today at 24MW/48MWh, which came online in October.

Andreas Görtz, President Sustainable Power Solutions, Rolls-Royce Power Systems, said: “With our new utility-scale battery storage systems that support the integration of renewable energy sources into the power supply, we are taking another step with our customers towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. We are very much looking forward to working with SemperPower on Project Castor.”

The Netherlands has a particularly congested grid, being one of the most densely populated countries in Europe, so some local regions have reached limits for the feed-in of new wind and solar. To get around this, some battery storage operators are exploring time-limited contracts with grid operators where they can only charge or discharge at certain periods to alleviate grid strain.

Triodos Bank and The Dutch National Fund for Green Investments are providing the project financing.

Emile Peters, investment manager for The Dutch National Fund for Green Investments, added: “Energy storage systems for renewable energy are relatively new. Consequently, it is challenging for financiers to properly assess the associated risks, generally resulting in avoiding financing such projects altogether.”

“The Dutch National Fund of Green Investments, in this case together with Triodos, aims to finance sustainable pioneers like SemperPower, so that they can focus on accelerating the energy transition.”

10MWh project in Germany

In related news Rolls-Royce has revealed that it is also providing eight of its mtu EnergyPacks, its BESS product, to developer VISPIRON for two projects in Bavaria and Thirungia, Germany.

A press release did not reveal the size of the overall order but a company spokesperson told that the eight units total 10.1MWh: six 1,553kWh units, one 267kWh one and one totalling 534kWh. The firm is providing system integration for the projects, which will adjoin existing solar parks.

The storage systems will mainly be used for intraday trading, which the firm said is particularly important for absorbing the unpredictability of intermittent renewable sources like wind and solar.

SEtrade GmbH will use its virtual power plant (VPP) platform in combination with an auto-trading system to react to price fluctuations on the market and optimise the system’s performance.

“We see a growing market in the VISPIRON business model and in our storage products and are pleased that together we can make a relevant contribution to grid and supply stability and thus actively contribute to the energy transition,” said Andreas Görtz, President Sustainable Power Solutions at Rolls-Royce Power Systems.

Rolls-Royce has over 100 of its mtu EnergyPacks in operation worldwide. The system has a capacity range of 70kWh to 2,200kWh.’ publisher Solar Media will host the eighth annual Energy Storage Summit EU in London, 22-23 February 2023. This year it is moving to a larger venue, bringing together Europe’s leading investors, policymakers, developers, utilities, energy buyers and service providers all in one place. Visit the official site for more info.

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