showcasing schiphol trade park
Decorative border

April 30, 2024

Despite Congestion, Activity Continues at Schiphol Trade Park

Amsterdam, Netherlands – April 30, 2024- What began in October 2020 as an urgent problem – in the area where Schiphol Trade Park was under development, there was no additional transport capacity available, and planned construction and expansion had to come to a halt – has now been resolved. Our groundbreaking virtual grid solution has operated there for over two years. And it’s successful: companies at Schiphol Trade Park are operational, expanding, and electrifying despite the network congestion in the area.

Congestion at Schiphol Trade Park

A glance at the congestion map makes it clear that the Schiphol Trade Park is located in an area largely closed due to congestion. There is no additional capacity available in the medium-voltage grid for the transportation of electricity. This means that no further development will take place: A company may get a connection, but no transportation capacity. This is not only a problem for companies that want to locate here, but also for the area developer SADC (Schiphol Area Development Company), which still had the goal of becoming the most sustainable business park in Europe in 2020 (and became the most sustainable logistics business park in the world in 2023 with BREEAM-NL Outstanding certification!) The developer wanted to prevent companies from looking for solutions individually and creating a proliferation of gas generators with associated emissions. SADC realized that a smarter, cheaper, and more sustainable solution was possible by innovatively connecting the parties and encouraging them to work together. Companies can build, expand, and electrify. Read more about the history of the project on our project page.

Een doorbraak: de virtuele netoplossing

All companies connected to the cooperative share their transport capacities with each other, and thus make smart use of the reserved space. STELLAR Grid Management continuously reads data from smart meters and controls energy systems (such as solar panels, energy storage, and generators) behind the meter. In addition, we take care of the financial settlement of this control so that the participating companies can compensate each other for the electricity consumed and the provision of their controllable energy systems.

 

Results of a Year of Virtual Grid Operation

The virtual grid has been active for two years. In the first year, companies gradually joined the collective. The results of that year were promising but not yet comprehensive.

Now that we have been in operation for a full calendar year, we can confidently share our results. For these results, we looked at the year 2023 and thus included all seasons and the associated energy demand in this analysis.

 

The collective is being well utilized: In 2023, 2,104 MWh of electricity delivery was made possible through sharing capacity within the virtual grid. Without this smart solution, many controllable energy systems, such as batteries and generators, would have had to supply this electricity. Seven companies, with little or no grid capacity, participate in the collective. Thanks to this smart solution, the companies can use the available space and the power generation of their neighbors.

 

Several companies have invested in batteries and gas and diesel generators to ensure sufficient electricity within the set limits. The collective utilizes these resources in case of capacity shortages. The generators mainly serve as backup. Before STELLAR activates them, the system determines if the connected batteries can meet the expected scarcity moment. If the battery is insufficient, STELLAR automatically switches on a generator. In 2023, generators were activated twice to stay within the grid limit, totaling 2 hours. When the generators were activated, the batteries were not yet operational; otherwise, the generators probably wouldn’t have been necessary.

 

Without the virtual grid, these parties would have had to invest in generators (and possible backup generators). Those generators would have collectively run for up to 31,000 hours. Fortunately, this was avoided. This has resulted in 468,000 m3 less gas consumed, thereby reducing CO2 emissions by 842 tons from generators.

 

So, the virtual grid is a solid solution for congestion areas. Thanks to smart control, seven companies would have had to relocate to another location in the Netherlands or abroad, while some were already under construction. And a huge amount of CO2 emissions has been prevented.

The Future of Grid Management

We are proud of our virtual grid at Schiphol Trade Park. We also sense a tremendous urgency in the market: many parties are struggling with network congestion and are looking for a similar solution. But the future of Grid Management is not off-the-shelf. The Schiphol Trade Park project is a pilot project and the terms of a standard contract for such a collective solution (group transport agreement) have yet to be finalized.

 

Not only at Schiphol

Schiphol Trade Park is certainly not the only place in the Netherlands experiencing congestion. Earlier this year, for example, we launched our solution in Hessenpoort, Zwolle. Are you also experiencing congestion? We would be happy to discuss solutions with you. 

Get in touch with us.

Questions? Contact us!

Contact us