04 April 2022
The first round of Hello Mentor has been completed
- International talent
The electricity grid in Brabant is nearly full. In the Brainport region alone, dozens of companies are waiting for a new or heavier connection. At the completely gas-free Brainport Industries Campus (BIC) in Eindhoven, BIC Utility BV, a joint venture between Equans and the Brabantse Ontwikkelings Maatschappij (BOM), is solving this problem of grid congestion itself: behind the meter at its own power plant, so that the campus does not have to call on the grid operator for a heavier connection.
"An important part of the solution is ingenious energy management, as we have been applying on campus for years to provide tenants with optimal sustainability and guaranteed uptime," explains Ruud Vleugels on behalf of utility partner Equans.
"However, due to growing electricity demand, we saw that we needed to step up. Reason for us as BIC Utility BV to opt for an expansion of the solar roof and additional storage capacity in the form of a battery in our own power plant." Extensions recently completed by Equans.
"If all the companies located at the BIC individually applied for a connection to the grid operator, they would need ten times more power than what they are now asking for together," Vleugels calculates. "No one believes what we are doing here. Such a low consumption, such a low demand for power, surely that is not possible while the number of companies located on campus is growing and companies are only expanding their production. We get questions from everyone," he says not without pride.
"We look very carefully at a tenant's specific situation," Vleugels continues. "For example, we monitor each individual's consumption and adjust where necessary. A continuous process of scaling up and down which keeps the energy costs for tenants manageable and we as BIC Utility BV can always use our utilities optimally."
"Congestion management with capital letters," concludes Vleugels. And that in a place that breathes top technology and collaboration. "All the more wonderful that we as BIC Utility BV were able to tackle the problem of grid congestion right here. This together with the tenants and thanks to financing from Rabobank in the expansion of the solar roof and battery."
"As co-owner of BIC Utility BV, BOM is proud of what we have achieved here, " said Ernst Coolen, Investment Director Renewable Energy at BOM. "We see the energy management and sustainability of BIC as a showcase for untapped opportunities that still exist at many business parks in the Netherlands. For the utilization and realization of this potential, the formation of strong collectives, as formed at the BIC, is an important accelerator. We are happy to use the knowledge and experience we gain here to also structure and finance other Brabant projects in a smart way."
Part of this strong collective is also Rabobank. Through financing, the bank is facilitating the realization of the energy system at the BIC. "In 2021 we agreed on the financing of the sustainable energy plant. At the time, the financing of this so-called Energy Service Company (ESCo) was considered a breakthrough in the energy transition," indicates Johan van de Louw, director of cooperative Rabobank. "The BOM and Equans have since shown that a sustainable power plant works and that gives confidence for new projects. Like now the battery and the expansion of the solar roof."