KEMA offers insights into energy storage technology

KEMA ( is providing insights into three energy storage innovation projects and technological developments at this week’s Electrical Energy Storage Applications and Technologies (EESAT) Conference. The presentations offer a demonstration of advanced, transportable energy storage systems, an update on the third generation redox flow battery program, and a study on emissions and societal benefits of utilizing energy storage at commercial and industrial facilities.

Energy storage is essential to accommodate the increasing amounts of large-scale centralized and small-scale distributed generation in order to maintain reliable grid operations. KEMA is actively engaged in advancing energy storage technologies for energy and utility applications. The firm has been evaluating and measuring the potential impact and uses of various storage technologies on bulk grid and distribution systems. In the US, KEMA demonstrated successful use of a 2 MW lithium-ion battery for utility applications as well as provided white papers on emission and life cycle benefits from utilizing a 20 MW flywheel-based power plant for frequency regulation as well as System Benefits of Fast Response Storage Devices used for Regulation.

In addition to the EESAT presentations, in July KEMA briefed US Congress on energy storage policy issues impacting the development and adoption of electricity storage technologies and applications. In September, KEMA moderated a webinar on community energy storage that addressed key points such as cost of energy storage devices, types of technologies available and the expected market size for energy storage.

The EESAT Conference is being held October 4 – 7, 2009 in Seattle, Washington. KEMA energy storage experts will be giving presentations on:

* GROW-DERS: A Practical Project Implementing Transportable Electrical Energy Storage in Power Systems
* Third Generation Redox Flow Battery; a Development Update
* Evaluating Emission Benefits from Using Advanced Storage at Commercial and Industrial Facilities in California

EESAT is a biennial conference with a specific emphasis on the latest technological developments in the use of electricity storage and power electronics for the global power industry.

Founded in 1927, KEMA is a global provider of business and technical consulting, operational support, measurement and inspection, testing and certification for the energy and utility industry. With world headquarters in Arnhem, the Netherlands, and KEMA employs more than 2,000 professionals globally and has offices in 20 countries. KEMA’s US subsidiary, KEMA, Inc., is headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts and serves energy clients throughout the Americas and Caribbean.

Managing new energy value chains

The energy transition process is creating new energy value chains. New stakeholders are emerging, obliging traditional market players to redefine their roles. New fields of expertise and new technologies have to be developed and changes made to the regulatory framework.

Transition is an inherently uncertain process, whose exact outcome cannot be predicted. As a result, no single market player can shoulder the associated risks alone. The established stakeholders and the market entrants need to work together in a radically different way. To facilitate this process, innovative business models are required to prevent all the initiatives dying a premature death.

KEMA is well positioned to play a catalyzing role in these new value chains, particularly acting in an intermediary role to free up stiff links. Our experts are involved in cutting-edge energy projects that involve renewables, energy storage, smart grids, green building, new gas and much more. We are working as a catalyst to enable the transition process – developing new technologies, creating new business models, addressing new risks and stimulating new regulations alongside some of the biggest industry players.

Wind power integration has become a multi-faceted problem for wind developers, utlities, regulators, and is now a multi-disciplinary opportunity for KEMA.

The unique difficulties that the variability of wind, its often remote locations, and its varying diurnal production curves produce require new approaches to system planning and operations as well as new technologies such as Flex Power and Storage to be applied. Ultimately, demand response and behind the meter smart grid technologies also have to be used to assist in integrating very high levels of wind resources.

Electricity storage has gone from the R&D stage to that of ‘early adopter on a commercial basis” in the space of one year.

Storage is seen as essential to accommodating the large hourly and daily variability of renewable resources – wind and solar both have diurnal characteristics, and wind varies particularly frequently – without either balancing renewable with fossil-fuel-based resources or forcing the load to match the weather.

Many storage technologies such as flywheels, advanced batteries, and compressed air have already found viable niches. KEMA has actively participated in developing technologies and testing advanced devices, and has been a global leader in establishing the business case for grid-connected storage and methodologies for analyzing and designing protocols for integrating storage into grid operations. KEMA has also developed the unique "Energy Island" concept.

Import of sustainable energy from the Sahara

This project will investigate technical and economic feasibility of importing solar energy from a high insolation region, the Sahara, to the EU-region. In addition, the energy flows will be studied, including the losses and the various potential benefits of energy being available where and when it is required. To this end, the project will also consider the best logistic set-up for the transmission/transport and the input of energy to the European electricity network. KEMA is the project coordinator.

Generation Principle

The harnessing method will be Concentrated Solar Power (CSP). The harnessed energy will be stored in a storage-material (e.g. metal-metal oxide cylce) ready for transportation to an energy recovery site connected to the European electricity grid. There, the stored energy can directly be recovered to electricity or thermal energy. The storage-metal will oxidize during the energy recovery process. The metal oxide is re-used at the CSP plant where it is regenerated into metal, producing oxygen as a by-product. The storage metal would be readily transported over large distances and there would be no ‘self discharge’ problems.


Besides clear benefits such as no ‘self discharge’ issues, no geographical restrictions and a potentially high availability of supply CSP also has efficiency benefits. Put this all together CSP-energy is a clear and strong contender to harness solar energy.

Energy storage inevitably leads to a discussion of Electric Vehicles and Pluggable Hybrid Electric Vehicles (EV and PHEV).

KEMA has been involved in assessing the impact of EV/PHEV on the grid in the ITM project, and is starting new projects on integrating EV into the grid.


Intelligent network management is necessary to facilitate for a maximum of renewable energy sources Address Active distribution networks with full integration of demand and distributed energy resources.

Network management for sustainable energy As more renewable energy sources are developed, we face the challenge of greater fluctuations in centralized power generation. Consider power generation by means of wind energy: through wind speed variations, the stability and quality of power supply increasingly becomes an issue. At night, conventional power plants have to act as a spinning reserve against low efficiencies at relatively high emission levels. This is in contradiction with reliable power supply, and sustainable electricity production.

The increase of renewable energy with large fluctuations in supply makes the management of the electricity network more complex. This is especially an issue with respect to the difference in demand between day and night.


This project develops network management concepts for network operators, and written specifications for IT support. Technical feasibility and social acceptance also influence the demand side due to electric car batteries and electric heat pumps in energy storage systems.


The project aims to reduce the great difference in demand during the day and night, and to make it possible to fit in 6,000 MWe wind energy in the Netherlands’ grid while continuing reliable electricity supply.

Project partners

Energieonderzoek Centrum Nederland (ECN), Petten, Netherlands
Essent, Arnhem, Netherlands
Alliander, Arnhem, Netherlands
Instituut voor Wetenschap en Ontwikkeling (IWO), Ede, Netherlands

Project duration
1 January 2007 – 31 December 2009