Liander has launched a flexible energy market in Nijmegen-Noord. To better coordinate supply and demand, the grid operator has joined forces with the local branches of supermarket chain Lidl and hotel chain Van der Valk. That obviates the need for expensive cables, the grid operator announced on Friday.

In Nijmegen-Noord, the area of Nijmegen on the 'other side' of the river Waal, the Waalsprong district has been built. Wind farms and solar fields are designed to provide the new-build district with electricity, but only one wind farm has been completed as yet. To meet the demand for power, Liander is building a new substation, but that will not be commissioned for another four years at the earliest.


To absorb the peaks in the power grid in the meantime, the grid operator has now set up a flexibility market. A branch of hotel chain Van der Valk and the local branch of supermarket chain Lidl will be supplying their own electricity to the grid at peak times. Van der Valk will deploy a ground-source heat pump in its hotel for temporary energy storage. Lidl is offering its cold store, and a battery at its distribution centre. Both companies will receive compensation from Liander, as well as from Scholt Energy that will be coordinating the process as aggregator. (Read also: Flexible power market Nijmegen-Noord)

Scholt Energy explains in an animation how the flexibility market in Nijmegen-Noord works. None of the users in the district will have to change their energy consumption. 



The flexibility market in Nijmegen-Noord is a novelty, but the concept will become increasingly important in the future. As renewable energy sources become more important over time, such a system will be needed to absorb the peaks in consumption. After all, wind and solar are less predictable than a coal-fired power plant. Liander is working with different parties at other locations too to arrive at similar solutions.

Opening photo: Nijmegen-Noord with the construction of the primary water channel at Lent. Photo: Beaufort Makelaars.

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