Delta21: Energy and economic analysis. Valmeer as part of a sustainable energy system

CE Delft conducted a techno-economic analysis of Delta21, a project initiative off the coast of Rotterdam. Delta21 is a huge lake (50 km2) with a storage capacity of 34 GWh, which performs an energy storage role by pumping water in and out. Depending on the number of pumps, the capacity is between 2 and 6 GW. Delta21 can also perform a role in water safety and nature restoration.

The business case analysis conducted on energy markets shows a potentially positive business case in 2035, depending on the configuration of the Valmeer, financing costs, grid tariffs and the development of energy prices. For the period after 2035, a levelised cost of storage (LCOS) comparison was made between Delta21, lithium-ion batteries, flow batteries and hydrogen plants. This shows that Delta21 will be cost-competitive under favourable financing parameters. However, these favourable financing parameters are expected to require government support or guarantees. The study looked at different financing structures since this was identified as one of the main areas of concern due to the significant financing needs and uncertainties involved.

In addition, the Valmeer can contribute to improving the local grid congestion situation in the Rotterdam area and help integrate offshore wind landfall. This will require grid-favourable deployment, otherwise local peaks in the grid could increase.

In addition, the study also translated and quantified the social value of electricity storage for the Valmeer. For instance, the Valmeer could make investments in solar panels and wind turbines unnecessary, fewer gas-fired power plants could be required and energy costs for users such as businesses and households could fall (although energy suppliers’ revenues would also fall).

This study was made possible by funding from ‘Kansen voor West 2’, a European subsidy for SMEs in South Holland and by the Province of South Holland.

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