Jaarbeurs is working on one of the largest energy storage facility in the Benelux area, a project costing €1 million. Car manufacturer Tesla will be installing a large battery at the Jaarbeurs complex which collects the energy from solar cells and makes it available for electric vehicles. Cars can then easily and quickly be charged up with solar power, even after the sun has gone down.
This mega-battery will be situated on the car park behind the exhibition complex. The capacity is 1.5 megawatt hour, enough to charge up a regular electric car fifty times, or an electric Tesla twenty times.
On Friday, the project initiators announced that the installation will be built after the summer. Jaarbeurs, system operator Stedin, energy supplier Scholt Energy and charging station developer LomboXnet are jointly investing in the project. The contracts with Tesla have are already signed, says Robin Mountain (LomboXnet).
The installation is the best solution for a logistic problem for Jaarbeurs. Usually, electric cars get their power directly from the grid, but in this case, there is a danger of overload. At the car park, multiple drivers will be charging up their vehicles at the same time, also leaving at approximately the same time.
At peak times, this would result in a huge current from all the vehicles that need charging at the same time, requiring a network connection that does not yet exist. The participating parties have therefore chosen for a battery as a buffer. This enables the cars to charge up on solar power on site, without the need of a heavy connection. For the same reason, system operator Stedin has also set up a similar, although smaller charging station along the A2.
Tesla makes a mark in the Netherlands with its big battery. The car manufacturer - which surpassed Ford in value in April - has already got an assembly location in Tilburg, but is looking to build a new factory in Europe. The manufacturer mainly produces electric cars, but also wants to start selling batteries so that households can store the green energy they produce themselves.
Various Dutch municipalities have already established themselves as a good location for a new facility, and the outgoing minister of Economic Affairs, Henk Kamp, is supporting a Dutch facility. One of the arguments is that the Netherlands is one of the forerunners when it comes to electric cars.
Compared to Germany, Dutch motorists drive fairly short distances, which makes electric cars easier to deploy. But even though the number of electric cars in the Netherlands is increasing, the advance is slow. In Norway, the percentage of electric cars of the total sales is much higher.
The project at Jaarbeurs will be loss-making. The prices of those batteries are going down steadily, but are still fairly high for this type of solution. Therefore, the initiators want to try and make the absorption of power surges in the grid more economical from a tax perspective. The Economic Board Utrecht also supports this initiative.
The parties say the installation will also be used to get more houses powered up with green electricity. In this way, a vehicle which has been charged at Jaarbeurs, can provide energy to a home that needs it when parked in the drive. This should also reduce the pressure on the network.
For storage, Tesla uses lithium-ion batteries, the same batteries that are also used in laptops, mobile phones and electric vehicles. A European subsidy of € 64,000 was granted to this project.