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Case Studies

Umicore

Connected Energy is supporting Umicore’s power-intensive site by combining site assets to increase the site’s energy flexibility and provide grid balancing services to generate revenue for the site.

  • Industry:  Recycling & Waste Management
  • System no:  2
  • Power:  1200kW
  • Capacity:  720kWh
  • Application:  Revenue generation
  • Functionality:  Hybrid flexibility - aggregated with a loadbank and a generator

Background

Umicore is a global materials technology and recycling group, whose activities include the recycling of EV batteries and the manufacture of battery components.

Umicore wished to investigate the use of an energy storage system that could ‘bridge the gap’ and provide reactive power to help improve power quality across multiple assets on their site. Connected Energy’s E-STOR system provides this, and help to monetise this excess power by providing frequency response services and generating revenue.

This helped the Umicore team develop the business case for adopting the technology, and made the Connected Energy systems the ideal choice for this project.

The Brief

Umicore has an ambition to develop, produce and recycle materials in a way that fulfils its mission: materials for a better life.

Already established on their sustainability journey, Umicore had adopted renewable energy generation sources on site. They were keen to understand the benefits of adopting battery energy storage to both harness their excess renewables and allow them to provide frequency response services to the grid.

The fact that Connected Energy utilised second life batteries in their systems was a huge advantage for the project. This helped Umicore adopt a system that not only provided energy flexibility that would make the site more attractive to aggregators, but that also supported them in delivering on their mission to power the circular economy by giving used materials a second, (better) life.

Our new battery system helps to stabilize our grid and increase utilisation of our sustainable energy solutions, including wind turbines and a combined heat power plant.

Geert Defieuw, Site Manager, Umicore Olen

The Solution

An E-STOR system was implemented at the site, capable of a combined energy storage capacity of 720 kWh, with the ability to deliver 1.2MW in power. The system provides reactive power to the site and frequency response services to the grid, helping to make it more attractive to aggregators, and therefore, more profitable for Umicore. The battery energy stroage system was connected to a DERMS (Distributed Energy Resources Management System) platform, alongside a load bank and generator, to manage the power and deliver it to the assets on site when it was needed.

The platform, operated by energy aggregator Kiwi Power, optimises the assets in unison to capitalise on their differing performance characteristics and maximise value. Together the assets will provide a frequency response service to Elia, the Belgium system operator.

The E-STOR system added to the sustainability aspect of the project. The system reuses Renault batteries which previously powered Kangoo vehicles in France. Their second life as part of a stationary energy storage system is expected to provide around seven more years of useful life when the value of the embedded resources can be utilised prior to disassembly and recycling.

Other benefits of the E-STOR are that the systems are modular and scalable in design, offering a range of configurations suitable for the varied requirements of customers like Umicore. The base module provides 300kW and 360kWh and this configuration can be extended to provide increased power or energy with the potential to vary the power:energy ratio, which is what CE demonstrated at the Umicore site.

Our customers are looking for flexibility to provide a range of benefits to their operations. This hybrid solution demonstrates the versatility offered by the E-STOR system. It’s also great to work with a company like Umicore who help us complete the circular economy story for EV batteries.

Matthew Lumsden, CEO, Connected Energy
Battery Energy storage systems - E-STOR
Reusing batteries to drive the circular economy
Battery energy storage using second life batteries

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