Essent Energy Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) and logistics real estate developer Intospace have signed a major deal that will the support the development of Infospace’s ambitious City’s Logistics Innovation Campus (CLIC), near Amsterdam. The agreement, signed during the recent PROVADA real estate fair, covers the installation and operation by Essent of an integrated network solution for CLIC, plus the supply of green electricity to the campus for a period of 30 years. The CLIC concept aims to further innovation in energy-intensive city logistics, despite the challenges facing the energy grid in the Netherlands. For example, once complete, CLIC’s planned vehicle charging platform will have the largest capacity in Europe to date. Through this, CLIC will help to meet the need for charging infrastructure.
“Businesses with sustainable ambitions are running into the limits of what the country’s power grid can currently support,” noted Stephan Segbers, COO of Essent. “Just look at the problems in [the provinces of] Brabant and Limburg. There, the high-voltage grid is almost at maximum capacity and a temporary stop is being placed on new companies and organisations connecting to it.
“Thanks to the collaboration with Intospace, we will be able to use sustainable energy and smart infrastructure to help accelerate the energy transition in the logistics sector. Renewable energy and the associated infrastructure are an essential part of this. In that respect, CLIC will not only be an innovation for city logistics, but also for the future of our energy supply,” Segbers said.
Robert Kreeft, the Intospace project leader for CLIC, views Essent EIS as a strong partner in finding solutions to the capacity shortage in the public electricity grid. “Thanks to this collaboration, we will soon have an unprecedented innovative basis that will support emission-free city logistics. City logistics are becoming highly energy intensive, so it is vital that we find a solution to the problem of grid congestion.”
A new concept in logistics
CLIC will be built next to the A9 motorway near Badhoevedorp, on the outskirts of Amsterdam and opposite Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. With its campus setting, the development will represent a new concept for city logistics and, when complete, will cover some 130,000 square metres. Its 11 buildings will comprise warehouses, office buildings, extended stay apartments, hotel facilities and a conference centre.
As part of this, Essent will meet the site’s heating, cooling and EV charging needs, and provide solar power and energy storage solutions. This in turn will enable logistics companies to set up energy-intensive operations while delivering sustainable city logistics.
As Intospace’s energy partner, Essent Energy Infrastructure Solutions will develop and operate the CLIC integrated energy system as an ESCo (Energy Service Company). The integrated system will consist of a combination of solar panels, charging infrastructure, hot and cold storage and batteries. These components will be intelligently controlled by Essent EIS’s digital layer to ensure optimal energy efficiency (both electricity as well as hot and cold storage) and that the power demands remain within the limit set by Liander, the grid operator.
Absorbing peaks and troughs
Thanks to this digital smart grid, Essent EIS will be able to strike an optimal balance between supply and demand, peaks and troughs, while also offering a flexible charging facility during the day and at night. Should more power be required than either the solar panels or batteries can supply, Essent will purchase green electricity when there is capacity in the public grid.
Given the grid congestion problems already affecting Brabant and Limburg, the need to electrify further and the need to make city logistics sustainable, CLIC will provide a way to work together to find solutions.
Photography: Karen Veldkamp