First FCR energy storage in Belgium for Engie

  • Energy storage
  • Engie
  • Brussels, Belgium
  • 2017

Alfen delivered its 1 MW battery energy storage system “TheBattery” to Engie’s power generation plant in Drogenbos (Brussels). This is the first battery based storage system in Belgium to provide grid stability since the grid operator opened its network for battery systems in May this year.

The energy transition is in full motion, resulting in an increasing amount of fluctuating renewable energy production and a growing penetration of electrical vehicles. In this new reality, stabilizing the grid is increasingly becoming a challenge. Therefore, the Belgian high voltage grid operator Elia started to allow battery storage systems for grid stabilization since May of this year.

First battery storage project in Belgium

Alfen is the first company to install a battery based energy storage system to provide so-called Frequency Containment Reserve (FCR) for stabilizing the Belgian grid. The system can regulate over 1 MW of power and is connected to Elia’s high-voltage grid at Engie’s 6MW storage park in Drogenbos (Brussels). Alfen was responsible for the full end-to-end integration of the energy storage system, including the software platform for frequency control, integration in the local energy system and connection to the high-voltage grid. The system is already operational and has now to be qualified by the grid operator.

Engie: “We continuously anticipate on changing dynamics in power markets. This energy storage project is an important step towards our future energy system. We expect storage to play an increasingly important role in balancing our energy systems over the coming years, but also other applications for storage have an enormous market potential.”

Multiple applications for storage gaining traction

Yves Vercammen, responsible for Alfen’s energy storage systems in Belgium, comments: “Frequency control is an increasingly important application for our customers. In the Netherlands we recently delivered a storage system for this application connected to a large wind farm. We are also working on storage projects providing load balancing for EV charging plazas, levelling out the peak demands from electric vehicles. Other ongoing projects include micro-grids combining solar PV and storage in local energy systems, and community-based virtual power plants for residential neighbourhoods. We are proud to be the first in integrating this solution in the Belgian grid and will realize more of these systems over the coming months.”