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26 May 2020 - Sustainability

KPN starts research into green energy storage in backup batteries of telephone exchanges

In collaboration with various companies in the energy sector, KPN has started a study of how the hundreds of back-up batteries in telephone exchanges can be deployed when there is a shortage or surplus of green energy.

“In our search for increasingly renewable energy we have investigated the possibilities of storage for our network,” says Paul Slot, responsible for KPN’s infrastructure. “Up to now we have become accustomed to using batteries as a back-up source of emergency power. Never before have solutions for the use of flexible capacity in a telecom environment been sought. This has enabled us to fulfill our wish to play a role in the sustainable energy transition.”

The Netherlands is undergoing an energy transition. On days when the sun is shining brightly or when there is a strong wind, more green energy is produced than consumed. The back-up batteries in KPN’s telephone exchanges can store some of that energy and that green energy can then be used when the sun is not shining or when there is no wind. In this way KPN wants to contribute towards speeding up the energy transition in the Netherlands.

KPN has batteries in telephone exchanges across the country for use in the event of a power cut, but power failures occur very rarely in the Netherlands. This means that those batteries are not used very often. By using the batteries locally to store surplus solar and wind energy KPN ensures that green power can be deployed more frequently, thereby substantially reducing the use of gray power in emergencies.

About the study
The study will take six months and is being carried out using a lithium ion battery of the brand Nilar with a capacity of 230 kWh. The battery has been installed at a single location in Amersfoort. The test will determine whether flexible storage and feed-in can usefully be applied at KPN. If the results are positive, studies will be carried out in the future on whether the neighborhood around the telephone exchange could benefit from them. This study is being carried out in partnership with Allinq, Indutecc Renewable Solutions, ICT Group, Dexter, Eneco, Nilar and Ferroamp.