Eneco enters compressed air segment to create energy system of the future
Eneco has signed a partnership agreement with Corre Energy for the Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) that Corre Energy aims to construct in the municipality of Zuidwending in the province of Groningen. A CAES is a facility that stores compressed air in salt caverns for the purpose of producing electricity. Eneco is planning to use the facility’s full 220 MW compression capacity and 320 MW production capacity. This next step towards the sustainable energy system of the future means a further reduction of CO2 emissions.
Due to its high level of flexibility, the use of the CAES allows Eneco to contribute to balancing the electricity grid. Surplus production of sustainable electricity can be stored in the form of compressed air. When there is a shortage on the electricity grid, the installation will use the compressed air to produce electricity. This way, the CAES can supply sustainable wind and solar energy at times when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining.
Kees-Jan Rameau, Chief Strategic Growth Officer of Eneco: “With this collaboration with Corre Energy, Eneco is taking another big step towards the sustainable energy system of the future because of the flexible capacity their system can offer. The system’s storage possibilities also contribute to solving congestion problems, thus clearing the way for even more sustainable energy for our customers. As such, it is an important step for the ambition formulated in our One Planet Plan, which is for our own operations and the energy we supply to our customers to be climate neutral by 2035.”
Keith McGrane, Chief Executive Officer of Corre Energy: “We are delighted to have partnered with Eneco. Eneco shares our deep belief in the requirement for and the value of large-scale Compressed Air Energy Storage and is committed to the success of this project. They also share Corre Energy’s commitment to making a tangible contribution to the energy transition and the journey to net zero in Europe.”
Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) is also referred to as Long Duration Energy Storage. When there is a surplus of sustainable electricity, this installation uses up to 220 MW to convert this electricity into compressed air, which is then stored in underground salt caverns. At times when there is not enough wind or sunshine, the compressed air can be led to a turbine to produce extra electricity. This installation is capable of supplying electricity to the grid with a capacity of 320 MW for a period of up to 3.5 days, resulting in a reduction of CO2 emissions by 250,000 tons per year. When it will be possible to use hydrogen to power the installation, the reduction of CO2 emissions will increase to 450,000 tons per year.
Corre Energy develops underground energy storages. The first Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) projects are located in the Netherlands and Denmark, with the ambition to also develop projects in Germany. In 2023, it will be established by means of an exploratory drilling whether the site in Zuidwending is indeed suitable for compressed air storage. The salt caverns and the above-ground installation, including the buildings, are expected to be completed in 2026. In order to realise the CAES, Corre Energy is working on the contracts with suppliers, financing, permits and agreements on network tariffs.