Saft to deploy Li-ion energy storage systems for MILLENER Smart Grid project

Saft to deploy Li-ion energy storage systems for MILLENER Smart Grid project

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By eeNews Europe

Up to 500 Saft Li-ion energy storage systems for a total capacity of 3 MWh will be deployed in combination with photovoltaic (PV) installations on France’s island territories including La Réunion and Corsica.     

The MILLENER project is one of the first projects to be approved under the French government’s innovative investment programme managed by the French energy and environment agency, including Euros 7.2 million of government aid, aimed at assisting network operator and industrialists in developing smart grid industrial know-how and capacity in France. Saft is one of seven industrial partners (together with EDF, BPL Global, Delta Dore, Edelia, Schneider Electric and Tenesol) that have joined forces to undertake the MILLENER project. Over a four-year period, the consortium will investigate innovative energy and load management solutions by developing demonstrator systems to be deployed in several territories.     

Saft will equip residential installations on the islands of La Réunion and Corsica, as well as on other French island territories, where the use of Li-ion energy storage systems in combination with photovoltaic (PV) systems will be evaluated as a method of improving the integration of renewable energy sources and again contributing to power grid balance. All the installations covered by the trials will have telecommunication links to the power grid operator.     

“Energy storage is a crucial enabling technology for the implementation of smart grids,” said François Bouchon, Director of Saft Energy Storage Systems. ‘The significant size of the MILLENER project will provide an invaluable demonstration of the capability of our Li-ion technology to deliver effective and reliable energy storage services to an electricity grid operator in practical, real-world applications.’     

The 500 Li-ion battery systems that Saft will provide will have the capability to store and deliver between 4 and 8 kWh of energy per discharge.     

The programme will evaluate a number of scenarios representing the various possible functions of energy storage within a smart grid, partly in combination with demand side management. These scenarios will include:  Maximizing the input of PV energy by increasing the grid’s hosting capacity – energy storage can smooth short term fluctuations in PV generation as well as supporting grid voltage and frequency control.     

Optimizing utilization of grid infrastructure and generation assets – energy storage can assist in ‘peak-shaving’ at the different times when production and consumption reach peak levels and manage grid contingencies. This approach can help to increase the grid’s transmission capacity, avoiding the need for major investment in new infrastructure.     

Maximizing household self-consumption to minimize grid loading – energy storage effectively ‘time-shifts’ local PV production to make it available at periods of peak household demand.     

The test programme is particularly relevant to the challenges facing the French islands, and many other island communities worldwide, that are experiencing sustained growth in energy consumption (of between 3 to 5 percent per year), combined with massive development of intermittent renewable energy sources and weak power grids. It is an important step towards the long term goal of achieving integrated smart management of all the individual links in the energy chain (production, distribution, consumption) to provide a coherent, fully optimized overall approach to the management of energy supply and demand.     

The planned facilities will be installed in 2011 and early 2012. Various trials will then be undertaken as a means of achieving long-lasting optimisation, in both technical and economic terms, of the solutions deployed.     

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