Vattenfall will use electricity from wind farms and solar parks to store heat in a 150 MW electric boiler system in Amsterdam. The Swedish company says it would be the largest facility of its kind in Europe and that it plans to commission it in 2024.
The Netherlands granted a permit and subsidy from its SDE++ scheme to Vattenfall to build a 150 MW power-to-heat system in its heat and power plant Diemen in Amsterdam. The firm based in Solna near Stockholm launched a tender for the construction of the facility and said its final investment decision is scheduled for mid-2022.
The electric boiler is believed to be the largest in Europe and can be put into use in 2024, according to the Swedish company.
“Vattenfall wants to supply 100% sustainable heat in the Amsterdam region by 2040. In addition to e-boilers, Vattenfall is therefore also working on a number of other sustainable heat sources, such as biomass, geothermal, data center heating and aqua thermal heat,” says Ulrika Jardfelt, head of Business Area Heat at Vattenfall.
The Dutch SDE++ program provides subsidies for renewable energy and other technology that lowers carbon dioxide emissions. The installation in Amsterdam would heat water and supply it to households and companies or store it in the heat buffer.
The system is planned to consist of two reservoirs, the same as in the facility that Wien Energie is setting up in Vienna.
The electric boiler will replace gas-fueled plants in district heating when there is excess solar and wind power in the system
“The e-boiler only switches on if the electricity mix is sustainable, with a lot of electricity from solar and wind. When there is insufficient green energy, the gas-fired power plants in Diemen are still needed to produce electricity – power plants that also supply heat very efficiently. We expect that these gas-fired plants will remain necessary in the coming decades for security of supply in the Netherlands; first on natural gas, but later hydrogen from renewable sources,” says Alexander van Ofwegen, Director of Heat Vattenfall Netherlands.
Maximum capacity to reach 200 MW
The e-boiler in Amsterdam will run for about 2,000 hours per year at a maximum power of 200 MW, Vattenfall said. It claimed the efficiency would be 99.9% and that a heat exchanger would also be used to convert heat from wastewater from buildings and store it in the system. According to the design, the power-to-heat facility would be 30 meters long, 20 meters wide and 15 meters high.
Vattenfall initially expects to be able to supply approximately 15% of the heat in the Amsterdam region with renewable electricity. It said it intends to lift the number of hours that the e-boiler can run, given the growth in the number of wind and solar farms in the Netherlands.
In 2019, the company connected a 120 MW e-boiler at its Reuter West power plant in Berlin to the district heating grid.