Operator enters Belgian market with VPP operations

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Next Kraftwerke has partnered with Belgium-based green energy company Eneco and energy storage provider Alfen, to integrate a 2MW battery into its Virtual power plant, Next Pool.

The energy storage battery will provide frequency control reserves to the Belgian grid.

The battery is located at an industrial site owned by Peleman Industries and connected to the Next Pool via a remote control unit Next Box, to enable Next Kraftwerke to remotely control the system at all times to address changes in energy demand and supply.

Paul Kreutzkamp, co-founder and co-manager of Next Kraftwerke Belgium, said: “The Next Box constantly measures the grid frequency. This way, the battery set-point is updated in real time to counteract any frequency deviation from 50 Hertz.

“Apart from using only sustainable energy, the response time of the battery is also much faster and more accurate than any other technology delivering FCR to the Belgian grid. It is the first battery connected to the distribution grid which is offering frequency control reserve to the national grid.”

“Balancing the grid is essential if we want to realise our core mission: Everyone’s sustainable energy. The energy transition creates new challenges and needs a strong focus on innovation. Therefore, we are very happy to have taken this step with such a great team of energy experts”, says Iwein Going, CEO at Eneco Solar & Storage Belgium.

In the second phase of the project, the battery energy storage system will be connected with two wind turbines on site at Peleman.

Next Kraftwerke operates one of the biggest Virtual Power Plants in Europe. By utilising the full potential of digitalisation, the company networks more than 5,000 energy-producing and energy-consuming units in the Virtual Power Plant “Next Pool” with a total capacity of over 4,100MW.