EStor-Lux, in partnership with Centrica Business Solutions, is constructing a 10MW/20MWh battery park in Bastogne, Belgium.

Centrica Business Solutions will be responsible for the operation as well as enhance the revenue received from the batteries.

The battery park is designed to function as a virtual power plant to make efficient use of the available supply on the high-voltage grid and discharge the power during major consumption peaks.

EStor-Lux director Bruno Vanderschueren said: “This project represents a real step forward in the energy transition by demonstrating the full competitiveness of batteries as an alternative to thermal power plants.

“Centrica contributed greatly to the feasibility of the project. The service goes far beyond simple access to flexibility markets and includes significant performance guarantees from Centrica.”

Battery park to open in 2021

Planned to be commissioned in mid-2021, the battery park is expected to meet the flexible capacity needs of Elia, the high-voltage electricity network operator in Belgium.

A ‘virtual power plant’ will be made available by Centrica as part of the secondary reserve, which helps in balancing the grid frequency in order to guarantee its stability.

Acting as a buffer, the battery allows electricity to be added or absorbed from the grid when required.

Centrica said that the battery will be a part of a larger ‘virtual power plant’ that will virtually be connected to large industrial businesses such as LafargeHolcim, Sappi and Foamglas.

Centrica Business Solutions international director Arno van Mourik said: “We are convinced that these new battery-based and CO2 emissions-free ‘virtual power plants’ will continue to be developed in Belgium.

“They are perfectly in line with Elia’s ambition to gradually open the various electricity markets to demand management.”

EStor-Lux is a joint venture between Rent-a-Port, Idelux, Socofe and SRIW.