France’s largest battery storage to stabilise power grid

June 22, 2015 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
The department Aube in the northeast of France plans to install the nation’s largest battery storage. The experiment is designed to underpin the development of renewable energies, in particular wind power, and try out new smart grid control schemes.

While most people agree that renewable energies should be established, it is necessary to understand that renewables are not as continuously available as conventional energy sources – a factor that poses large challenges to the power grid. Energy storage technologies enable more flexibility for design and operation of the grid.

Storing electric energy makes it possible to compensate for variations in energy production, control grid frequency and voltage – an important aspect in the quality of energy supply. The project Venteesa is designed to enable scientists and researchers to experiment and test new ways to stabilise the grid. The goal is finding the best practices, algorithms and tools for industrial implementation in the medium-voltage grid in terms of technology as well as in operational and business terms: The Venteesa scientists are developing methods to improve the overall grid efficiency and to integrate renewable energies into the grid. At the same time, the project will search for ways to optimise connecting costs.

Towards this end, Veneesa employs Smart Grids. The energy storage developed by the French scientists is active at two levels: Firstly it enables the ideal energy flow throughout the grid, taking into account the technical conditions and factors such as voltage level frequency and more. Secondly it ensures that only the services are offered that suit best the needs of the grid and its users, taking into account forecasts about the energy production and the energy demand for one day ahead.

Thanks to this multi-level service it will be possible to develop a new business model in which the cost for energy storage and technology roll-out can be distributed across the various actors. Thus, the project will create the base for tomorrow’s distribution network.

Under geographical aspects the project is focusing on the Champagne – Ardenne region, France’s most important wind energy region. The demonstration installation is located in Vendeurvre-sur-Barse where an existing grid can be integrated into the