Storm to build mega battery park in Genk South

Belgian wind park company Storm has applied for a building and operating permit for a large-scale battery park in Genk (Limburg), on the former site of the power station in Langerlo, the last coal-fired power generating plant in Belgium that shut down in 2016. The latter was revealed by Het Belang van Limburg on Tuesday.

The new battery project will become one of the largest in Europe, with a capacity of 100 MW, or enough to provide 100 MWh for four hours. The energy is intended to stabilize the grid and provide companies and families with electricity.

A final decision about the construction permit is expected by the end of October. And before the construction can start, a piece of forest still needs to be cleared. Storm is known for its wind farms, and the company’s mission is to accelerate the transition to a climate-neutral society. Storm develops, builds, and operates onshore wind farms at the lowest possible social cost.

Sixty wind turbines

Since 2008, the company has built approximately sixty wind turbines in Belgium, enough to meet the annual electricity consumption of around 120 000 families.

Local authorities can become a shareholder in Storm’s wind farms, and local residents can directly participate in wind farms via the cooperative Storm CV. One share in the cooperative costs 125 euros. Storm CV currently has a total of 4 089 members for the Storm wind farms.

Stability of the grid

Storm’s ambition is to contribute to the security of the electricity supply in Belgium. The lithium-ion battery plant will not produce electricity but will store energy in case of surplus and (re)distribute electricity in times of shortage. In other words, the company will contribute to the grid’s stability.

Some years ago, Storm also built a wind farm in Genk, in the industrial zone Genk-Zuid (South), to be specific, near the Albert Channel. It has been operational since the end of 2015 and produces enough green power to meet the energy needs of some 1 200 Flemish families.

200 MW battery park in Rotem

With the Storm battery park in Genk, Limburg in Belgium would get two of Europe’s biggest battery parks close to each other. German ‘green’ energy supplier RWE Renewables revealed in April it intends to build Europe’s biggest grid backup battery with a 200 megawatts capacity in Rotem (Dilsen-Stokkem).

To compare: Belgium’s largest backup battery so far is the Terhills ‘Virtual Power Plant’ (VPP) in Eisden, delivering 18,2 MW with 140 big Tesla batteries. RWE initially was going to build a gas power plant of 920 MW on the Rotem industry park. Still, the Limburg provincial executive and Flemish Minister Zuhal Demir refused to deliver a building permit.

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