Europe’s largest industrial energy storage facility has been inaugurated in Belgium.
The facility is a pilot project comprising energy storage and solar PV integrated with a microgrid. It is operated by CMI Energy at the company’s international headquarters in Seraing.
CMI makes industrial boilers, steam generators and HRSGs for concentrated solar power with thermal storage and the MiRIS (Micro Réseau Intégré Seraing) storage facility will help power the company’s headquarters, which currently consumes 1.3 GW a year.
CMI said that the plant is also intended “to demonstrate advanced integration of intermittent renewable energy resources with battery-based energy storage to produce a fully dispatchable renewable energy resource”.
CMI Energy president Jean-Michel Gheeraerdts said: “We now have ways to use green energy sources that eradicate their major flaw: intermittent production. Energy storage and management can be applied in a number of fields as an alternative to diesel generators for unconnected regions, as a way of deferring investment in parts of the network, as a means of optimizing existing photovoltaic or wind systems, and as an enabler of participation in the primary or secondary reserve markets.”
MiRIS consists of a 2 MW photovoltaic system with 6500 rooftop and carport panels, plus 4.2 MW of energy storage comprising a lithium-ion battery system and two different flow battery systems.
The technology showcase interconnects with the building’s electrical network and its DSO 15kV distribution service connection.
Gheeraerdts said that MiRIS “will facilitate investigation of the interoperability of renewables and different energy storage technologies for a variety of user energy profiles, particularly with respect to renewable energy time shifting and energy resale to the grid. MiRIS will also enable evaluation of microgrid ‘islanding’ operation, potential grid ancillary service opportunities, and the influence of user demand response.”