The heavier cells from Zenon Energy aren’t good for cars, but they’re great for industrial storage and price arbitrage that could lower electricity costs.
A 40-foot shipping container is picked up by a hydraulic lift, carefully rotated in midair, and then set down close to a 20-foot electric crane on a sunny December morning near the Port of Amsterdam. A 3.75-ton battery, which can supply the majority of the power required for the crane, a conveyor belt that transports the sand it collects to a nearby concrete factory, and the mixing equipment inside, is inside the box. This battery can supply enough electricity to power about a dozen homes, or in this case, the majority of what is required for the crane. “If we don’t have electricity, we don’t produce,” says Chief Executive Officer of Albeton Algemene Betonmaatschappij BV, Jeroen Droog, who is also the plant’s owner.
The country’s numerous businesses are plagued by electricity shortages, including Albeton, the largest producer of concrete in the Netherlands. The grid is full in the area of town where Albeton lives. As a result, the business got in touch with Dutch startup Zenon Energy Europe BV to create a battery system that can double in size as Albeton’s trucks switch to electric in preparation for a diesel ban Amsterdam plans to enact starting in 2030.