One of Europe’s largest battery parks proposed in Genk

One of Europe’s largest battery parks proposed in Genk
Credit: RWE

Energy company Storm has proposed a new battery park in Genk-Zuid on the former site of the Langerlo power plant which was the last coal-fired power station in the country that shut down in 2016. With a capacity of 100 megawatts, the park, if approved, would become one of the largest in Europe.

The company is best known for its wind farms, having built some sixty wind turbines in Belgium since 2008, including one along the Albert Canal at Genk-Zuid. Now, it has applied for an environmental permit for a battery park, reports Het Belang van Limburg. The public enquiry runs through 12 August, with the decision expected by the end of October.

"If we want to get away from fossil energy sources, batteries as a safety net could provide part of the solution," Eveline D.Milonas, communication manager of Storm, said.

With this project, Storm hopes to contribute to the security of electricity access in Belgium. The battery will charge during periods of energy surplus and discharge during periods of energy shortage creating a buffer of electricity that enhances the stability of the grid.

Steps toward energy transition

The battery park would consist of 92 battery containers, with the capacity of supplying 100-megawatt hours of electricity for four hours.

"The battery does not produce energy, but stores it and puts it on the grid at times when there is not enough electricity," D.Milon said. "If the project materialises, it will be a positive step for the energy transition."

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In order to construct the battery site, an area of 8,000 m² of forest still needs to be cleared. This mainly concerns oak, birch and American bird cress.

Storm’s proposal is the second one in Limburg this year, with the German company RWE applying for a permit for a battery park in the industrial area of Rotem. Initially, RWE wanted to build a gas plant there, but since the permit was denied by the province and Flanders, RWE now wants to install a battery with a capacity of 200 megawatts, the largest battery farm in Europe.

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