AI-generated picture of a large Battery Energy Storing System (BESS)
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With an innovative platform, Vandebron aims to balance the supply and demand of solar energy at one of Sunrock‘s solar farms. By joining the so-called Frequency Containment Reserve (FCR), Vandebron wants to work with energy producers to develop new battery projects profitably. This FCR allows electricity production and use to be scaled up or down to balance the power grid. The ultimate goal is to make the Dutch energy market more sustainable.

  • Vandebron and Sunrock are building a system to match solar energy supply and demand.
  • To this end, Vandebron is joining the Frequency Containment Reserve.
  • With this, the green energy market can be made more sustainable.

The production of green energy has increased significantly in recent years. That’s a good development for making the Dutch energy market more sustainable and at the same time a challenge for keeping the energy grid in balance. For example, unexpectedly good weather conditions on extra sunny days and low electricity demand overload the grid. Conversely, additional high demand during bad weather can also cause supply problems.

Grid operators are working with market participants to purchase flexible power through balancing products to maintain balance. “Traditionally, the grid is balanced by large gas power plants,” explains CTO Arno van den Berg of Vandebron. “When there is a shortage of green energy, these ‘stoke up’ to meet demand. To avoid using fossil fuels, we have developed technology with our partner Sunrock to balance the grid sustainably. Through large-scale batteries on their solar farms, we can scale up or down production and use in real-time.”

Reserve power

With the deployment of the battery, which was provided by iwell, Vandebron enters the Frequency Containment Reserve market, the place where grid operators buy their primary reserve power to deal with unexpected surpluses or shortages on the grid. Before this entry, in cooperation with Sunrock, the necessary steps were taken to be allowed to act as an approved Balancing Service Provider.

The large-scale battery project meets all requirements, has 1 MW, and can provide this power for over an hour. Van den Berg: “The knowledge gained and technology developed for this first product allows us to expand quickly. More of Sunrock’s solar farms are currently being set up to help balance the grid. We are also considering developing battery projects with other manufacturers and possibly home batteries.”