Scoop in Wallonia: EStor-Lux, in collaboration with Centrica Business Solutions, creates a battery park in Bastogne. Centrica manages and valorizes the batteries that can function as a virtual power plant. In this way, the parties increase the efficiency of the Belgian high-voltage grid.
Centrica Business Solutions reaffirms its pioneering position in the flexibility market by operating a 10 to 20MWh battery on behalf of Estor-Lux. The battery plays an essential and innovative role in the efficient management of the demand and supply of sustainable electricity. It allows flexibility in renewable energy production by storing production surpluses during off-peak periods and making them available at peak consumption times.
This is the first battery park of this type in Wallonia and also the largest in Belgium. The battery largely meets the flexible capacity needs of Elia, the operator of the electricity high-voltage grid. The storage system will be operational from mid-2021.
Industry as a super battery
The uniqueness of the battery developed by EStor-Lux and operated by Centrica is that it can truly take on the role of a virtual power plant thanks to its virtual connection with industrial players such as LafargeHolcim, Sappi and Foamglas. Once the battery has reached its full storage capacity, industrial sites can be called upon to make use of the surplus energy. Conversely, when the battery needs energy, Centrica can coordinate the energy consumption of industrial players by asking them to reduce their energy consumption temporarily.
Centrica can also make this virtual power plant available as part of the so-called Secondary Reserve. This Secondary Reserve makes it possible to continuously balance the frequency of the grid, which is necessary to guarantee the stability of the grid. The battery acts as a buffer and makes it possible to inject or absorb electricity from the grid.
This valorization within the framework of the Secondary Reserve makes the economic model of batteries fully viable. Thanks to their flexibility, these virtual power plants can run without subsidies, unlike other flexible capacities such as natural gas power plants.
Estor-Lux is a partnership between Rent-A-Port Green Energy, SOPAER, SOCOFE and SRIW-Environnement in the province of Luxembourg.