The increase in production and ambitions for renewable energy in our country goes hand in hand with a growing need for storage capacity. ENGIE, which already has local renewable production capacities, also wants to take the initiative in the field of storage by developing large-scale battery projects in Belgium. The company has submitted permit applications for three new battery parks at its sites in Kallo, Drogenbos and Vilvoorde for a total electrical capacity of 380 MW. These facilities could be an important link in meeting the growing need for flexibility. In addition, they could provide important support to the network.

With the Coo pumped storage power plant, ENGIE already has a large-scale energy storage facility (1080 MW), which has played a central role in the Belgian energy mix for over 50 years. In the current context where environmental, economic and security of supply issues are more than ever combined, ENGIE is determined to develop, install and operate additional storage projects in Belgium in the future. 

ENGIE has therefore studied the feasibility of several sites in our country. From this study, three sites emerged in an initial phase as being the most eligible for developing new battery parks: Kallo, Drogenbos and Vilvoorde. These sites, which belong to ENGIE, have the necessary space and facilities and can be connected to the high-voltage network.

Since 2017, the Drogenbos site has already had 6 MW of batteries. A much larger additional storage project would provide an additional 80 MW of electrical power. Li-ion batteries can provide power for four hours, or 320 MWh or the equivalent of 64,000 5 kWh household batteries. When fully charged, it can cover the electricity consumption of 38,400 households for that same amount of time. 

The Kallo site offers the possibility of developing a new 100 MW battery park. These batteries could also provide electricity for four hours, i.e. 400 MWh or the equivalent of 80,000 5 kWh household batteries which, once charged, could cover the electricity consumption of more than 48,000 households during this same period of time. time. 

The largest storage facility could be installed at the Vilvoorde site, with a capacity of up to 200 MW. These batteries could also provide electricity for four hours, or 800 MWh or the equivalent of 160,000 5 kWh household batteries which, fully charged, could cover the electricity consumption of 96,000 households during this same period of time.

With such large volumes, batteries can help the grid absorb peaks in (renewable) energy production through storage and return that energy when (renewable) energy production is lower. In this way, battery installations promote the development of renewable energies in the electricity mix by compensating for their intermittent nature.

Thierry Saegeman, CEO ENGIE in Belgium: “ENGIE intends not only to maximise its share of renewable energy in Belgium, but also to provide the solutions and the flexibility necessary to allow the increase of the share of these intermittent energy sources in the network. By relying on the combined knowledge and expertise of Laborelec, ENGIE’s research center, our engineering company Tractebel and our teams in charge of conventional and renewable energies, we want to become a major player in the field. local energy storage. 

Image source: Courtesy of ENGIE

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