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SemperPower starts operations on 62MWh Rolls-Royce BESS in Netherlands

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Battery storage developer and operator SemperPower has taken over operations on a 62.6MWh BESS provided by Rolls-Royce in the Netherlands, the largest in the country, it claimed.

The 30.7M/62.6MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) project, called Castor, is located in an energy hub in Vlissingen-Oost, a north sea port town.

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SemperPower said it will accelerate the integration of renewable energy into the electricity market in the Netherlands. It didn’t detail exactly what it would be doing but its 2.1-hour duration implies some level of energy-intensive activities rather than just ancillary services.

Rolls-Royce Power Systems provided a full turnkey solution for the BESS project including the battery units, civil engineering and electrical integration. It is part of Rolls-Royce Holdings, which provides power solutions in various industries, most notably aviation, and is entirely separate from the consumer vehicle brand owned by BMW.

Rolls-Royce Power Systems provided its mtu EnergyPack QG battery containers and its energy management system (EMS) platform EnergetIQ for the project. Images of the project show the brand name of CATL, the China-based world’s largest lithium-ion manufacturer, indicating it supplied the battery cells for the BESS units.

SemperPower and Rolls-Royce first announced the project this time last year, as covered by Energy-Storage.news, saying then it would be commissioned in Spring 2023. At the time it was the largest project under construction, until SemperPower announced a slightly larger project, Pollux, at 68MWh, this time supplied by locally-based system integrator Alfen. It will be located next to Castor.

Alfen provided the BESS turnkey solution for SemperPower’s first project, a 9.3MW/9.9MWh system in Terneuzen commissioned in late 2021. The developer and operator claims a ‘concrete pipeline’ of 1.4GW, including a transmission-connected BESS project called Antares still in development.

However, as Energy-Storage.news has written extensively, the Dutch market faces challenges from a highly congested grid and so-called ‘double-charging’ of BESS projects by treating them as both consumers and producers of electricity. Most agree that to get to the 9GW of new BESS by 2030 that grid operator TenneT says it needs something will need to change here.

Dutch companies like developer Giga Storage and utility Eneco have meanwhile been working on much larger projects in neighbouring Belgium, which appears to have a more favourable energy market and regulatory environment for large-scale storage.

Announcing a 200MWh project in Belgium, Eneco in June called for 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’ publisher Solar Media will host the 9th annual Energy Storage Summit EU in London, 21-22 February 2024. 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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