Aquila Capital, Nippon Koei acquire Belgian utility-scale battery storage project under development

Nov. 3, 2021
It will be the largest project connecting to the Belgian high-voltage grid

Sustainable investment manager Aquila Capital and Japanese firm Nippon Koei Co., through its subsidiary Nippon Koei Energy Europe, have announced the financial close for a 25MW/100MWh grid-scale battery energy storage system (BESS) in Ruien, Belgium,

Renewable energy firm and aggregator YUSO will be the optimizer for the BESS for the next decade. Nippon Koei started collaborating with YUSO in 2018 and has made significant investments in the firm, according to reports.

The project is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Aquila Capital and Nippon Koei Co. will jointly finance the procurement, final development and operation of the system. It will be the largest to be connected to the Belgian high-voltage grid, as well as one of the first four-hour long duration BESS units in the European Union, according to the companies.

The project will deliver ancillary services to the Belgian HV grid and operate on the short-term electricity markets. It will be built on the site of a former 800-MW coal fired power plant, constructed and operated sustainably. It will meet the relevant ESG standards.

YUSO MD Bart Pycke said that it is the first project of this size for the company.

Hiroyuki Akiyoshi, Representative Director and Vice President of Nippon Koei said, “The Ruien project takes advantage of the fast response and easy scalability of batteries and applies BESS technology as a key factor in the effective integration of VRE sources into power systems. For the Ruien project, we plan to connect this large unit to a nearby 70kV substation to provide the services necessary for system operation, based on our experience in the development and construction of BESS. The Joint Venture with Aquila Capital also highlights the value investment managers attach to the flexibility required to embed even more renewables to the power system of the future and the ESG compliance with the sustainability standards of such energy transition project.”