This new Amsterdam floating battery terminal has been launched to service the city’s electric boats during the heavy demand of the upcoming tourist and tulip season.
Skoon Energy and the Port of Amsterdam have launched the service to bring mobile energy storage into the port and inner city of Amsterdam. The cargo-container-sized battery is powered by local renewable energy sources and placed on a barge giving easy access for electric boat owners.
Netherlands-based start up Skoon is focusing on ways to help switch the maritime industry to clean energy. The company first tested their ‘Skoonbox’ batteries with the Dutch shipyard Damen in late 2018. A diesel-electric inland barge moving containers between Rotterdam and Hengeloin was loaded with one of their 600kWh Skoonboxes that powered the vessel all-electrically. The batteries were swapped out with another Skoonbox when discharged.
In October of 2019 they introduced Skoon Cloud, allowing the boxes to be used in kind of an AirBnB or Uber for energy users. Subscribers book and share the energy of the company’s batteries through a Skoon Cloud app, which matches their needs with several assets provided by battery owners.
The service can be used in place of a diesel generator for things like a remote construction site, a movie set or festival or accessed from a permanent location to provide a clean energy source during peak demand periods.
The Cloud service was announced last October and reception was so enthusiastic they were asked to join the Dutch Delegation to the massively influential Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January. Co-founder Peter Paul van Voorst was delightedly shocked to be there as they were named one of the “Tech Trends to Watch” in front of 1,500 journalists from all over the world.
Amsterdam floating battery part of 2050 goal
The floating battery project is called “Project Clean Amsterdam” and is being run in cooperation with the Port of Amsterdam, which has an ambition to become an emission-free port by 2050. Last year the Port played host to the Energy Observer hydrogen powered research ship and was open to the public to visit as part of an exhibition about the steps the Port is taking to achieve the goal. The city of Amsterdam itself also has a deadline of 2025 for all commercial boats on the canals to be non fossil-fuel by 2025.
The Port explains how the battery terminal will be used:
Amsterdam is a very popular destination for river cruises. When in Amsterdam, the luxury ships use our shore power connection so their diesel generators (which cause noise pollution and extra emissions) can be turned off. However, in the river cruise high season (April and May) the demand for electricity is higher than the supply. To prevent ships from turning on their diesel generators, Port of Amsterdam uses the green battery for the peak of the season.
Dozens of electric boats for rent in Amsterdam
The Plugboats Directory of Electric Boat Rentals and Charters lists 13 companies in Amsterdam that have multiple electric boats for sale. For some of the most charming examples of available boats – check out our article “The electrified canal boats of Amsterdam”.
The Amsterdam floating battery will be on the barge for six months and will support river cruise vessels two weeks per month. During the other two weeks, it will move around on the 31 miles of canals in the city to be used by construction projects and events that traditionally rely on diesel generators.
The battery will be charged from renewable energy sources such as the Ruigoord wind park, rooftop solar panels in the port area and biomass electricity from waste-to-energy company AEB. Zoev City will move the battery through the canals on it fully electric vessels.
Mr. van Voorst of Skoon says “The use cases for mobile batteries are endless. Think about construction or maintenance activities on quays or bridges in the canals of Amsterdam. Additional benefits of the floating battery include transport by an electrically powered barge to the customer, reducing noise pollution, emissions and traffic on the already busy streets. It’s a faster, smarter and cleaner solution.”