According to foreign media reports, the EStor-Lux battery energy storage system deployed in Bastogne, southern Belgium, was put into operation in December last year and fully launched commercial activities. The consortium backing the project said the energy storage system successfully participated in a grid frequency auction, providing 16GW of balancing capacity to date.
The 10MW/20MWh EStor-Lux Lithium-Ion Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) completed financial settlement in November 2020 and started full-scale commercial activities on December 9, 2021. The battery energy storage system in this project is built using energy storage technology and the sixth-generation Cube modular battery energy storage system provided by the integrator Fluence.
Centrica Business Solutions, the energy solutions subsidiary of UK-based energy holding company Centrica, was responsible for the optimization of the battery storage system and for the storage system to participate in most of the automatic frequency restoration organized by Elia, the Belgian high-voltage transmission system operator. Reserve (aFRR) auction. Elia claims that the battery storage system has provided it with 16GW of balancing capacity since it opened.
The February 18 announcement claimed that the EStor-Lux battery storage system is integrated with other flexible sources of capacity in a virtual portfolio. And claimed that the "Benelux Economic Union" is operating this battery energy storage system, and will deploy larger battery energy storage projects in the future.
In addition, Belgium will start operation of two 25MW/100MWh battery energy storage systems this year: one is planned to be deployed in Ryan by a Japanese and Belgian joint venture in the fourth quarter of 2022, and the other by commodity trading The Balen battery energy storage system developed by the company Trafigura will also be completed this year. The two battery storage systems are also one of four new-build battery storage projects awarded to capacity market contracts by Elia last year through its newly introduced Capacity Compensation Mechanism (CRM), totaling 130MW/540MWh.
The consortium investing in the EStor-Lux battery energy storage system consists of investment groups SRIW, Ackermans & van Haaren, BEWATT, SOCOFE and SOFILUX, engineering and construction company CFE, and the Belgian government development organization IDELUX.
Compared to the Frequency Containment Reserve (FCR), the main source of revenue in continental Europe today, battery storage systems of longer duration are ideally suited to provide Automatic Frequency Recovery Reserve (aFRR) services that require longer supply times.
Industry media reported last year on a cross-border platform for automatic Frequency Recovery Reserve (aFRR) auctions in continental Europe, called Project PICASS). It will enable European countries to share and balance energy, and has sparked reforms to allow energy storage to participate in markets in countries such as Belgium, France and Spain, although some other national and local regulations still prevent batteries from joining.
France, Germany and Austria will launch the platform this quarter, while Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria will join later this year. Other EU countries will join in 2023 or 2024.