Storelectric wins 70th NAM Challenge

Ahead of 44 other companies from 13 countries, Storelectric is the winner of this year’s 70th NAM Challenge, a prestigious international energy competition run by Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (NAM), Holland’s largest energy company jointly owned by Shell and Exxon.

Storelectric’s solution for the large-scale storage of renewable energy uses current infrastructure and wins €50,000 together with its implementation with NAM across the Netherlands with plans for the North Sea.

The jury said: “Energy transition in the Netherlands will take a big step forward. Large-scale energy storage is a crucial factor for accelerating energy transition in our country.”

Tallat Azad, Managing Director of Storelectric Ltd, presented before the judges and audience of over 70 at the 70th NAM Challenge in Utrecht, Holland.

The NAM70 Challenge was organised to mark the 70th anniversary of NAM, and was all about concrete steps to accelerate the energy transition.

The Winning Innovation

Storelectric’s technology is Compressed Air Energy Storage which enables a surplus of wind or solar power to be stored efficiently over long periods. Energy storage for times of peak demand, in the evening and Winter, has been one of the major challenges for the renewable energy sector.

Storelectric’s solution is to use surplus energy to compress and store air in salt caverns; underground reservoirs. When the energy is needed the air is released. The air pressure difference generates usable energy when needed.

Storage of renewable energy is becoming crucial to maintaining the stability of the future energy system and balancing supply and demand throughout the seasons. The period of frosty weather, last winter, showed how important underground gas storage was for NAM in meeting the increased demand for energy and how important it is to develop a sustainable equivalent for renewables as quickly as possible.

The NAM70 Challenge

The NAM70 Challenge from Holland’s biggest energy company, is an initiative for companies with new technologies to work on the large-scale storage of sustainable energy, to make their solutions workable in practice and scale them up to the required level. As part of the judging process Storelectric visited existing plants in Germany and Holland and spoke with NAM’s technical specialists.

The jury assessed solutions for innovation, applicability, social importance and scalability. Storelectric was shortlisted to present ‘Enabling Renewables to Power the Grid’ to the jury and the Dutch CEO’s of Shell and Exxon in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style event in Utrecht along with Proton Ventures from The Netherlands and Eco-Tech Ceram from France and was a unanimous winner.

The jury:

  • Manon Janssen (CEO Ecorys/Ambassador of Topsector Energie)
  • Tim van der Hagen (President of the Executive Board at TU Delft)
  • Gertjan Lankhorst (Chairman of The Association for Energy, Environment and Water/Managing Director of the New Energy Coalition)
  • Nynke Dalstra (CFO Royal HaskoningDHV)
  • Gerald Schotman (NAM Managing Director/President of KIVI)

The Verdict

The jury commented: “Our decision is based on the possibilities the solution offers for large scale storage of renewable energy. Furthermore, the solution offers the possibility to be implemented on existing NAM locations. We view Storelectric’s solution as a game-changer that has the potential to speed up the energy transition.”

Gerald Schotman, NAM Managing Director added: “Given the challenges and ambitions that the Netherlands faces with the current energy transition, I am delighted that we have taken a concrete step towards accelerating it today. No company or organisation, including NAM, can solve this on its own.

“Combining knowledge, expertise and innovation helps us to move forward as a country. We are looking forward to further collaboration with Storelectric to shape this solution over the coming months.”

Tallat Azad, Managing Director of Storelectric Ltd. said: “Winning The NAM70 Challenge is a fantastic boost for Storelectric and its proven technology.

“The opportunity to re-purpose oil and gas infrastructure for renewable energy storage is a potential game-changer for the transition from fossil fuels to a full baseload renewable energy system and shows the Netherlands, with NAM, has the potential to be World-leading in the renewables race.

“As well as the €50,000 prize, the commitment Storelectric and NAM have is to build large scale underground renewable energy storage in Holland and potentially the North Sea, to back up and store the massive amounts of intermittent energy that will be coming from large scale offshore wind farms and onshore solar over the next decades.”

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