Energy Cooperative Schiphol Trade Park and Liander sign agreement

  29 November 2021  |    News

Energy Cooperative Schiphol Trade Park and grid operator Liander signed a balancing agreement on Thursday 25 November for a joint pilot for an innovative and sustainable solution to the capacity problem at Schiphol Trade Park. This ratified the declaration of intent made in April 2021.

Energy Cooperative Schiphol Trade Park is a collective comprising SADC, established companies, and businesses currently building new premises at Schiphol Trade Park. In close cooperation with Liander and technology company Spectral, the group has developed a sustainable and innovative concept for collective energy supply at Schiphol Trade Park. This concept is an investment by SADC in knowledge and technology for the future. It also creates a solution for the shortage of power transmission capacity at Schiphol Trade Park.

The transition to a sustainable, reliable and affordable local energy system requires a joint, long-term commitment from the companies concerned. The companies at Schiphol Trade Park have taken the first step in this direction by setting up the cooperative. “This calls for vision, trust and intensive cooperation,” says SADC project manager Arnoud van der Wijk. “The capacity in the power grid is by no means always fully utilised. This means that at times of under-utilisation there is ‘free space’ for all the companies at Schiphol Trade Park to use. The scarce capacity is thus cleverly shared among the members.”

Innovative thinking in times of scarcity

The high demand for electricity in the Netherlands leads to bottlenecks on the national grid. It often takes longer to expand the grid that it does to construct infrastructure requiring power, such as a business park. Huibert Baud, Director of Customer & Design at Liander says, “We are doing everything we can to supply our customers with power in time. In the collaboration with Energy Cooperative Schiphol Trade Park, Liander is exploring new ways to find more space on the existing grid together with other parties.” At the same time, Liander is working hard to expand the grid so that the required capacity will be available in the future.

Smart distribution in a virtual grid

Companies both with and without power capacity are brought together in a virtual grid (a software system controlling the existing network) and share the capacity with each other. During peak times, the available grid capacity will be supplemented with power from batteries, generated by solar panels or from other sources, and – if there is no other option – with power from generators.

The combination of real-time measurements, smart control and peak generation facilities ensures maximum use is made of the available grid capacity. Technology company Spectral developed the software for the concept.

Philip Gladek, CEO of Spectral says, “Our holistic view of energy transition means we always look for the most impactful integral system solution. Integrality is necessary to tackle this kind of complex technological challenge. The beauty of this solution at Schiphol Trade Park is that the entire electricity chain, from substation to the meter at the connected companies, can be optimised in real time. With this software we hope to introduce a future-proof and scalable solution to meet the increasing congestion challenge and make room for local renewable energy.”

Established companies are currently being connected to the Energy Cooperative Schiphol Trade Park platform. The first company without transmission capacity will be connected in the first quarter of 2022.

L – r: Harold Lek (SADC), Bart Blokland (Energy Cooperation Project Team), Arno Jansen (SADC), Philip Gladek (Spectral), Huibert Baud (Liander). Project manager Arnoud van der Wijk does not appear in the photograph.