The €11m system uses 140 large lithium ion batteries from Tesla and has been integrated into the primary reserve of Elia, the Belgian national grid administrator. The key to the project is that software provider REstore has intelligently linked the battery system to other industrial consumers, creating one large virtual power plant of 30 to 40 MW.
The 1,500-m² energy project was built in the Terhills business park in Dilsen-Stokken, next to the Infrax power station, with backing from investment firm LRM and uses power from solar and wind sources to balance the grid rather than gas turbines. In the second stage of the project, part of the battery capacity will be used to provide the Terhills holiday resort with sustainable power and then, further down the line, the park will also run on direct current rather than alternatig current.
“This unique energy project is not just perfectly in line with LRM's climate investment plan, which was rolled out to help attain the Flemish climate goals, but also with our views on innovation and sustainability," said Stijn Bijnens, CEO of LRM. "The batteries' function will be twofold: chiefly, they'll be used for Elia's primary reserve and to help balance out the power grid. Secondly, they fit in with the well-thought-out energy strategy for the planned holiday resort on the site. In the future; the Terhills resort will also be the first park to run on direct current using two solar farms on land and on water. Solar panels generate direct current, which will immediately be usable at the Terhills resort, without needing to be converted. That means that, at the holiday park, you won't need transformers to use domestic appliances or to charge your phone. Without the need for conversion, less energy is lost."
“Right now, this 18-MW Tesla battery is one of the largest batteries in Europe taking part in the primary reserve,” says Jan-Willem Rombouts, co-founder and co-CEO of REstore.