In Noord-Holland Noord lies Europe's largest open access seasonal gas storage, a crucial component in the gas hub. When people think of energy innovation, they tend not to think immediately of a fossil source like gas, although it is a form of energy that is very much part of energy innovation. The European energy market transitions to alternative, renewable energy sources. But so long renewable energy sources like wind and sun continue to be faced with the problem of 'storage', underground gas storage facilities are important components of the energy infrastructure of North West Europe and will remain so for decades to come as gas storages ensure the availability of natural gas at all times.
Long-term analysis shows that the decline in North West European gas production will create a substantial decrease in flexibility supply. To fill this gap TAQA developed Gas Storage Bergermeer, Europe's largest, open-access gas storage; providing the Northwest European gas market with 46 TWh (4.1 BCM) of seasonal storage capacity, almost doubling the gas storage capacity in the Netherlands. Upon completion, April 2015 Gas Storage Bergermeer will be a key facility in the Netherlands' ambition to become the gas hub for Northwest Europe.
In the last 40 years gas in the Bergermeer gas reservoir was extracted to provide energy, power and heat for the Netherlands. By building Gas Storage Bergermeer, TAQA is giving the depleted Bergermeer gas reservoir a second life as a gas storage, applying modern and innovative technology.
Situated near the Dutch city of Alkmaar, and located 2,500 metres underground, the Bergermeer gas reservoir once held 17 BCM of natural gas. To use the field as a gas storage, TAQA injected over 4 billion cubic meters of 'cushion' gas into the field to keep the field at a minimum pressure. In addition to the 'cushion' gas another 4 billion cubic meters of storage capacity is available for commercial purposes, gas or electricity companies. Bergermeer Gas Storage can be compared with a 'car park' for gas, customers of Gas Storage Bergermeer can lease space for the short or long term and store their gas and withdrawal it when they need it.
Gas Storage Bergermeer consists of three parts: the underground storage in the gas field under the Bergermeer polder; the gas treatment facility in the Boekelermeer, at the heart of the Energy Innovation Park and the pipeline network that connects them with each other. At the gas treatment facility the natural gas which has been stored in the reservoir is dried, cleaned and pressurized at the right level for transport within the Dutch gas transport network.
Daily gas production capacity is around 57 million m3.