In order to use the electricity grid more effectively and to provide more parties access to the electricity grid, grid operator Liander and large-scale battery system developers GIGA Storage are beginning pilot projects in Amsterdam, Alkmaar, and Lelystad with large batteries.
They do this in advance of the current draft of the new Energy Act. With the help of this clever solution, even in areas where the grid has reached its capacity, extra capacity on the electricity grid can be used during off-peak hours to connect more business owners.
The Netherlands’ economic growth and sustainability are based on their electricity grid. But as solar parks and solar roofs rapidly proliferate and the demand for electricity skyrockets, the grid is increasingly straining to meet demand. However, that maximum capacity is typically only used briefly by the associated business owners. The grid’s capacity is only partially utilized the rest of the time (see the figure). The maximum capacity that all connected entrepreneurs can request at once must be taken into account by network operators when allocating capacity on the network. The network operators must put new applications on a waiting list if that cap is reached in order to keep the network from overflowing until it is expanded. Meanwhile, a portion of the electricity grid’s capacity is frequently underutilized.
Businesses with large batteries, like GIGA Storage, are required by law and regulation to hire capacity on the electricity grid around-the-clock for both consumer use (charging) and grid-feedback (discharging). Large-scale batteries are being installed at an increasing rate, and as a result, they frequently help the grid reach its capacity limit. However, they can actually be one of the ways to use the internet more effectively. Opportunities for alternative regulation are provided by the new Energy Act. Now, Liander will research with GIGA Storage how customers with large-scale battery storage can benefit from time-limited contracts that can help the electricity grid be used more effectively. Liander provides GIGA Storage with the chance to use the remaining grid space within the pilots for battery charging and discharging. As a result, GIGA Storage only has access to the power grid when there is free space.
Amsterdam, Alkmaar, and Lelystad
Three pilot projects with GIGA Storage are being launched by Liander in its catchment area. It relates to battery usage in Amsterdam, Alkmaar, and Lelystad. The electricity grid has reached its limit for supplying electricity in some areas of Amsterdam and Alkmaar. Here, the parties are attempting to increase the supply of electricity’s capacity through the use of batteries. The electricity grid’s unused space is now accessible to the batteries, preventing the need for them to join a waiting list. This generates additional flexible capital for Liander to use in the congestion management process. By reducing the waiting list in this manner, Liander enables the network operator to connect more users. Between 10 and 20 megawatt batteries are involved in Amsterdam and Alkmaar, while a 25 megawatt battery is involved in Lelystad.
For the feed-in of wind and solar energy in Lelystad, the grid has reached its capacity. The battery is being used here by GIGA Storage and Liander to make more room for the addition of green energy. With the battery, the feed-in can be restricted, allowing Liander to connect with more clients.
The country’s electricity grid is being significantly expanded by the grid operators with new cables, additional transformer homes, and electricity distribution stations. This requires a minimum investment of 30 billion euros up until 2030.
However, in order to keep up with all of the developments and continue to meet the new demand, the expansion of the electricity grid is not occurring quickly enough. Because of this, grid operators are concentrating on various innovations and clever solutions to improve the efficiency of the electricity grid, such as combining multiple producers on a single connection and transporting wind and solar energy via the emergency lane of the grid (cable pooling). In addition to Liander, other regional grid operators are also starting pilots with time-bound contracts for business owners with large batteries. for instance, Drenthe’s Enexis Netbeheer. In the press release that Netbeheer Nederland released today, you can read more about it.
The energy system of the future will be significantly more decentralized and weather-dependent, using more local and sustainable sources as a foundation, like wind and sun. Therefore, in the future, consumers and business owners will have entirely new means of obtaining energy and will need to adjust their energy use to the times when it is both accessible and transportable.
Photo source: Liander