A 3 MW energy storage system connected to a wind farm came online this week in The Netherlands.

Developer Alfen said the modular system is planned to be expanded to 12 MW in future, which would make it the country’s largest energy storage project.

The system is installed at The Netherlands’ second-largest wind farm, the 122 MW, 36-turbine Princess Alexia facility in the town of Zeewolde.

Vattenfall subsidiary Nuon, which operates the wind farm, and BMW collaborated on the project. Alfen said it had made its storage system compatible with BMW batteries.   

This is the second wind and energy storage project for Alfen. In May the firm installed a 1 MWh battery storage solution at the 9 MW Giessenwind wind farm in the town of Giessenburg.

Gerben Epema, wind operations manager with Nuon, said the wind farm was “the ideal location” for the project as it “has been the national wind energy laboratory since its opening in 2011 and is constantly experimenting with new discoveries.”

“We are also looking forward to the future,” Epema added, “because there is a lot more wind energy in the Netherlands. By experimenting with this form of storage, much of the wind energy demand can be delivered later, even if the wind blows a little less.”

Alfen called the storage system “a solution for unused wind energy”, noting that “’Use it or lose it’ has always been the dilemma for renewable energy from the sun and wind” and that the storage system “helps to smooth peaks and troughs in power supply and better match the demand for energy.

“In this way we are creating more flexibility and stability in the system to facilitate renewable energy.”