Getting Horticultural Pests Under Control with the Help of a 10-MW Microgrid

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Dutch company Alfen will supply a 10-MW microgrid for a new facility in the Netherlands being built by Koppert Biological Systems, a global player in sustainable, biological controls for horticulture.

The production facility will be located at Berkel and Rodenrijs, a town in the western Netherlands, where Koppert will produce insects that are used to combat diseases and pests at horticultural farms.

Koppert’s facility will be built in two phases. The first phase is expected to be in operation in the Fall of 2018 and the second phase in 2019.

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The microgrid will operate in grid-connected mode, except when there is a power outage on the grid. It will then automatically island and switch to emergency power. After the grid is restored, the microgrid will automatically reconnect to the grid without voltage loss.

“The greenhouse horticulture sector is undergoing enormous innovations and growth. This results in many new challenges for the electricity grid, which Alfen is well-equipped to address,” said Richard Jongsma, Alfen commercial director.

The Dutch microgrid is the latest in a series of project announcements by Alfen.

The company supplied the Czech Republic’s first battery energy storage system, which was installed in December at a solar farm built by Solar Global. The a 1.2 MWh battery is being used to balance the fluctuating supply of solar energy with demand for electricity.

In September, Alfen became the first company to install a battery to provide frequency containment reserve to stabilize the Belgian grid. The system can regulate over 1 MW of power and is connected to the high-voltage grid at Engie’s 6 MW storage park in Drogenbos, Brussels.

“Frequency control is an increasingly important application for our customers. In the Netherlands we recently delivered a storage system for this application connected to a large wind farm. We are also working on storage projects providing load balancing for EV charging plazas, leveling out the peak demands from electric vehicles,” said Yves Vercammen, who is responsible for Alfen’s energy storage systems in Belgium.

He added that other ongoing Alfen projects include microgrids combining solar PV and storage in local energy systems, and community-based virtual power plants for residential neighborhoods.

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About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of She has been writing about energy for more than three decades for top industry publications. Her work also has been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal Online and the Washington Post.