June 6, 2018 – Storelectric Ltd. from the United Kingdom is the winner of the NAM70 Challenge. Their innovative solution for large-scale storage of renewable energy using current infrastructure, convinced the jury unanimously. Storelectric will receive €50,000 and implement the proposed innovation together with NAM. Consequently, the energy transition in the Netherlands will take a big step forward. Large-scale energy storage is a crucial factor for accelerating the energy transition in our country.
The winning innovation
The technology used by Storelectrid is Compressed Air Energy Storage. This enables a surplus of wind or solar power to be stored for use when the wind is not blowing or the sun is not shining. This takes place under the ground where the surplus energy is used to store air in salt caverns, a type of underground reservoir. The air is then compressed to store energy. When the energy is needed the air is released. The pressure difference generates usable energy again.
In addition to Storelectric, Proton Ventures from The Netherlands and Eco-Tech Ceram from France also competed for this place.
These three innovative companies signed up for the NAM70 Challenge, a NAM initiative which challenged growth companies, so-called scale-ups, working with new technologies to work on large-scale storage of sustainable energy. Storage of renewable energy is becoming crucial to maintaining the stability of the future energy system and balancing supply and demand throughout the seasons.
The jury assessed the solutions for innovation, applicability, social importance, scalability and several other factors. Ultimately this winner was a unanimous choice. The jury commented: “We were extremely impressed with the pitched solutions of all 3 nominees. After an intense deliberation we have decided to choose Storelectric as the winner. Our decision is based on the possibilities the solution offers for large scale storage of renewable energy. Furthermore, the solution offers the possibility to be implemented on existing NAM locations. We view Storelectric’s solution as a game-changer that has the potential to speed up the energy transition.
The jury comprised Manon Janssen (CEO Ecorys/Ambassador of Topsector Energie), Tim van der Hagen (President of the Executive Board at TU Delft), Gertjan Lankhorst (Chairman of The Association for Energy, Environment and Water/Managing Director of the New Energy Coalition), Nynke Dalstra (CFO Royal HaskoningDHV) and Gerald Schotman (NAM Managing Director/President of KIVI).
“Given the challenges and ambitions that the Netherlands faces with the current energy transition, I am delighted that we have taken a concrete step towards accelerating it today. No company or organisation, including NAM, can solve this on its own, together is our motto. Today shows that combining knowledge, expertise and innovation helps us to move forward as a country. I’m very proud of that. We are looking forward to further collaboration with Storelectric to shape this solution over the coming months,” said Gerald Schotman.
“It was certainly not an easy choice. The other two candidates also demonstrated fantastic innovations. I am convinced that their solutions will also be of added value for other parties in the Netherlands and the same goes for a number of the original 45 international entrants. Where we see opportunities and connections, we will certainly pursue them. We will tackle the energy transition together. In other words, this NAM70 Challenge has made us hungry for more,” continued Gerald.
Large-scale energy storage crucial
Storage is one of the major challenges concerning sustainable energy. The sun shines in summer and during the day. The peak demand for energy is in the evening and during winter. The period of frosty weather, last winter, showed how important underground gas storage is to meeting the increased demand. So it is important to develop a sustainable equivalent for this as quickly as possible, that not only works on NAM systems but can ultimately be deployed more broadly. This NAM70 Challenge also provides a springboard for growth companies to make their solutions workable in practice and scale them up to the required level.
The NAM70 Challenge was organised in the context of the 70th anniversary of NAM, which was all about concrete steps to accelerate the energy transition.
June 6, 2018 – Last two months, the three nominees of the NAM70 Challenge worked on their solution for large scale storage of renewable energy on the existing infrastructure of Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij. Today, they will pitch their idea and the Jury will decide who will win the Challenge. Very excited, but let’s remind ourselves that collaboration is crucial accelerating the energy transition. And that is something we already achieved! Thank you Storelectric, Eco-Tech Ceram, and Proton Ventures BV.
June 5, 2018 – This morning, all nominees and their NAM coaches explained their solution for large scale energy storage to our colleagues of NAM. Very interesting conversations and questions, ended with a call of Martijn Kleverlaan, new energy delivery manager of NAM, to the audience to share knowledge, enthusiasm, and entrepreneurship to accelerate the energy transition together. Because together, we can create the energy system of the future.
May 31, 2018 – Meet Storelectric, one of the nominees. Based in the United Kingdom. They developed a new way of storing the energy surplus for times without wind or sunshine, by using compressed air. At the moment, they are preparing their final pitch for next week and Tallat, their managing director, answered the question: “What are the benefits of the collaboration between Storelectric and NAM?”
May 29, 2018 – Meet Eco-Tech Ceram, one of the nominees. Based in France. Their solution stores residual heat, from the industry, in a special container which can keep the heat for up to a week. The energy can be used immediately, or for example, be sent to heating grids in the residential areas. The heat can also be transported, for example, to provide energy to greenhouses without a pipeline, enabling effective use of industrial residual heat.
May 28, 2018 – How to store renewable energy? We asked four students Industrial Engineering & Management of the University of Groningen to answer that question. In the weeks leading to the final event, we will share their explanation of the scope of the Challenge, making it hopefully a bit more understandable.
May 27, 2018 – Meet Proton Ventures BV, one of the nominees of the NAM70 Challenge. Based in The Netherlands (check out their beautiful view of the port of Rotterdam!). They invented a way to convert renewable energy to molecules. One more week for them to prepare their final pitch.
May 23, 2018 – Only two weeks left for the final event! All nominees are finetuning their business proposal. Team Storelectric just visited the first Compressed Air Energy Storage plant ever built, in Bad Zwischenahn (Germany). This plant has been operating commercially since 1979 and is located 150 kilometers east of Groningen. Together with Simeon, the NAM contact person, and a delegation of Uniper, who are the operator of this plant, they discussed the technical – and business opportunities.
May 22, 2018 – Proton Ventures, one of the nominees, focuses on energy storage in the form of Ammonia (NH3) as the hydrogen carrier. People ask them: why NH3?
• Commonly used for over 100 years
• Relative high energy density
• Flexibility in feedstock
• Flexibility in use (purpose / end product)
• Easily stored for various time frames and in smaller to large quantities
• Easily transported
• Easily located/integrated at the edge of existing industrial estate/built up quarters.
• Readily available infrastructure
Could this be the solution to our large scale energy storage challenge? We will know in two weeks on the final event of the NAM70 Challenge.
May 17, 2018 – We know that with the Challenge we are talking about quite a specific subject that might be too technical to fully understand. Therefore, we asked four students Industrial Engineering & Management of the University of Groningen to explain a bit more about the scope of the Challenge. In the weeks leading to the final event, we will share their explanation, making it hopefully a bit more understandable. The first question we asked them: “What is energy storage?”
May 15, 2018 – Every nominee is working together with NAM to find a way to fit their solution for large scale energy storage into the infrastructure of NAM. Aubin Touzo of Team Eco-Tech Ceram gives in this video message his update on their business case.
May 7, 2018 – Gerald Schotman, CEO of NAM and Chairman of the Jury of the NAM70 Challenge, is looking forward to the final event. On the 6th of June the nominees of the NAM70 Challenge will pitch their solution for large scale energy storage.
May 4, 2018 – Since the kick-off event last month, every nominee is working together with NAM to find a way to fit their solution for large scale energy storage into the infrastructure of NAM. Jacco Mooijer of team Proton Ventures BV wanted to share some ‘positive effects of the NAM70 Challenge’:
“A really positive effect of the NAM70 Challenge is what we feel already today, if not for the last few weeks! We are approached by numerous companies across the globe whom have noticed the NAM 70 Challenge in the media and wish to hook up with us for our ideas and technology in the renewable energy storage market place. This is already a big feat the Challenge and our participation in it accomplished. The publicity really helps in creating the momentum required.
Solar energy farms, wind turbine farm owners show up and ask us if we can help them out concerning intermittency issues concerning the power generation while delivery contracts are in place for continuous power supply. Others even come to us to see if excess power could be transformed into ‘chemical’ products which are value adding to their operations. How cool is that!”
May 3, 2018 – Since the kick-off event last month, every nominee is working together with NAM to find a way to fit their solution for large scale energy storage into the infrastructure of NAM. Today an update of Team Storelectric.
Together with their project coordinator of NAM, Simeon, they identified a very good prospective location for the first plant. Some basic screening is done for that location, that utilizes salt caverns and has the potential for significant expansion.
A first draft of the final presentation has been prepared and discussed. And a visit to the first Compressed Air Energy Storage plant ever built, in Bad Zwischenahn (Germany) is being prepared for later this month. The plant has been operating commercially since 1979 and is located 150 kilometers east of Groningen. This will be joint visit between Storelectric, NAM and Deep.KBB (collaboration partner of Storelectric) and will provide useful insights into the real operation of a CAES plant.
It is the intention to use this opportunity to have a joint discussion on other potential CAES locations in the Netherlands and the technical steps required to re-purpose other porous media storage facilities.
May 2, 2018 – Since the kick-off event last month, every nominee is working together with NAM to find a way to fit their solution for large scale energy storage into the infrastructure of NAM.
Casimir, process engineer for NAM, is the contact person for Eco-Tech Ceram. Last week he met their team in Perpignan (France). They started with a presentation of the business cases that could be applied to NAM and in The Netherlands and checked their 900°C prototype. The prototype was operating to try a new insulation.
After discussing the cooperation between NAM and Eco-Tech Ceram, they prepared the pitch for the final event at the 6th of June. The guidelines are set!
May 1, 2018 – The three nominees of the NAM70 Challenge visited several sites of NAM in The Netherlands. As we speak, they are working together with NAM to see in what way their innovative idea for large-scale storage of renewable energy will fit in the existing infrastructure. The winner of the NAM70 Challenge will be announced on June 6, 2018.
April 3, 2018, – Today we announced the three companies that will work together with, and under the guidance of, the Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (NAM) on a solution for large-scale storage of sustainable energy during the coming months. These three innovative companies had signed up for the NAM70 Challenge, a NAM initiative which challenged growth companies, so-called scale ups, working with new technologies to work on large-scale storage of sustainable energy. Storage of sustainable energy is becoming crucial to maintaining the stability of the future energy system and balancing supply and demand. At the end of January, NAM launched the Challenge with a call to: “Build the sustainable energy system of the future together with NAM.” By doing so, NAM wants to contribute to accelerating the energy transition in the Netherlands.
In random order, the nominees are:
Storelectric Ltd, United Kingdom – Technology: Compressed Air Energy Storage
Proton Ventures, The Netherlands – Technology: Ammonia Power to Liquid Storage
Eco-Tech Ceram, France – Technology: Thermal Energy Battery with Ceramic Cells
NAM Director, Gerald Schotman: “We were positively surprised by the number and the high quality of entries. The final count was no less than 45, highly varied approaches to solutions, submitted from across the world, from Canada to Australia, Singapore to South Africa and from Israel to the Netherlands. It was no easy task for the jury to select these three. We are looking forward to the next stage in which the nominees will continue to develop their innovations into an application for existing NAM systems, together with our employees.”
The NAM70 Challenge was organised in the context of the 70th anniversary of NAM, which was all about concrete steps to accelerate the energy transition.
Storage of sustainable energy
Storage is one of the major challenges concerning sustainable energy. The sun shines in summer and during the day. The greatest demand for energy is in the evening and during winter. The last frost period showed how important underground gas storage was to meet the increased demand. So, it is important to develop a sustainable equivalent for this, that not only works on NAM systems, but can ultimately be deployed more broadly. This NAM70 Challenge also offers a springboard for growth companies to make their solutions workable in practice and scale them up to the required level.
The jury, comprising Tim van der Hagen (President of the Executive Board at TU Delft, Gertjan Lankhorst (Chairman of VEMW (Association for Energy, Environment and Water)/Director of the New Energy Coalition), Manon Janssen (CEO Ecorys/Figurehead of Topsector Energie), Nynke Dalstra (CFO Royal HaskoningDHV) and Gerald Schotman (NAM Director/President of KIVI), ultimately chose these three nominees.
The jury stated: “To come to this shortlist, we looked at the technology used, the level of innovation, short-long term storage and the diversity of technologies. Some solutions are simple, yet ground-breaking. Others are very innovative and practical. A few solutions also make you curious. If it succeeds, there are real game changers amongst these solutions.”
Gerald Schotman: “I expect, in addition to these three promising companies, that we will remain in contact with a number of other entrants in the NAM70 Challenge or link them up with other parties or parts of our company. The quality and professionalism is so high and the challenge of the energy transition is so great that we can all benefit from collaboration to accelerate the transition, which is also in the spirit of the original idea behind the NAM70 Challenge.”
The winner of the NAM70 Challenge will be announced on June 6, 2018. The winner will receive €50,000, but can also count on NAM as a customer. The winner will implement the proposed innovation together with NAM.
March 16, 2018 – And… we are off to the next round!! It’s great to see that so many talented and innovative growing companies originating from so many countries are working on the challenges of the energy transition. Willing to join forces to speed up large scale renewable energy storage together. Therefore, we would like to thank all the NAM70 Challenge applicants. We are grateful and inspired by you!
So what will happen next? In the upcoming weeks our jury will take the time to go over all the applications. They will nominate three companies, based on the criteria. In the first week of April we will announce the nominations, and of course, inform all other applicants personally. After that moment, the teams of these three companies will be working together with our experts on their solutions. We are already looking forward to that!
In June the final winner will be announced by the jury. More details to follow soon.