Energy Hub to relieve local power grid

Photo credit: Omroep Brabant

Six companies at Kempisch Bedrijvenpark in Hapert want to generate a lot of power together to relieve the local electricity grid. With a so-called Energy Hub the businesses want to be less dependent on the crowded grid and be more sustainable, according to the first plans presented last Friday.

On the west side of Eindhoven and the Kempen the energy grid continues to squeeze. Since the beginning of this summer, hardly any new companies were connected to the electricity grid. Major expansion plans have also been shelved. In addition, the supply of sustainably generated energy is no longer possible.

Green electricity exchange

The cause is the jampacked high-voltage grid in those areas. Due to the sharp rise in demand for electricity the local grid will reach its maximum capacity much sooner than expected. Expansion will take some time, though: the power station in Hapert will be adjusted in two years’ time.

Reason for the Kempen municipalities (Bergeijk, Bladel, Eersel, Reusel-De Mierden en Oirschot) and six companies to see if they can help each other out. For example, the companies want to investigate whether and how they can supply each other with green energy.

How does it work?

Energy hubs are actually local power plants. The energy is generated within a relatively small area and consumed directly in the vicinity. Electricity can also be temporarily stored when not enough is generated. The energy is generated from local solar panels or wind turbines and is therefore green.

An example: company A consumes a little less electricity, but the factory hall is completely full of solar panels. Company B is busy manufacturing, and therefore uses a lot of energy.

Via such a hub the excess power is not returned to the existing local grid, but goes directly to the neighbour. This prevents the high-voltage grid from being loaded unnecessarily. Or even worse: the solar panels fail and nothing is generated because the grid is overloaded.

Less dependent

By cooperating and setting up an electricity hub, the companies therefore want to become less dependent on the high-voltage grid. They also hope that this will enable them to use more sustainable energy.

The six companies that participate are VDL Groep, Diffutherm, VGI Groep, The Schippers Group, Van der Heijden Transport and Logistics and Boerboom Hout. The Kempen municipalities, Brainport Development, the province and Enexis are also participating. It is still being examined whether such a local electricity hub is technically possible. The results of that study are expected in the course of next year.

Such an energy hub is not entirely new, incidentally. It is already being tested in the Overijssel province, among others.

Source: Omroep Brabant

Translator: Martijn

 

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