France Continues Exploring Energy Storage

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French electric utility EDF (Electricité de France) is evaluating use of an advanced Li-ion battery storage system for grid frequency regulation at its Concept Grid Lab. Located south of Paris at EDF’s R&D site in Les Renardières, Seine-et-Marne region, EDF’s Concept Grid Lab is a live power distribution network designed to support, help design and test “bleeding” and cutting-edge smart grid technology.

EDF will be testing the 1-MW Li-ion smart power storage system’s ability to maintain frequency levels on its Concept Grid Lab test grid over the course of about a year.  Alstom and Saft supplied the system. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The R&D lab enables EDF to subject the storage system to extreme conditions – spikes and troughs in grid frequency well outside the bounds experienced on commercial grids for example, Saft marketing and business development manager Michael Lippert said in an interview.

Using a smart Li-ion battery storage solution to maintain grid frequency levels within required bounds “is quite an innovative and forward-looking,” as well as critical, utility application of the technology in France, as well as in Europe more generally, Lippert pointed out.