Grid integration project wins €13.3m EU award

Electricity storage consortium to improve grid integration of intermittent renewables

A pan-European consortium of key players in the electricity sector has won a €13.3m grant from the European Commission. It will assist in the development of cost-effective integration of intermittent renewable energy sources, including offshore wind, into the power grid.

The Alstom-led e-storage consortium includes transmission system operator Elia, generation company EDF, academic institution Imperial College, consultancy/certification firm DNV Kema and management consultancy Algoé.

Its key aim is to develop cost-effective solutions for the deployment of large-scale energy storage across the EU. It also aims to enhance grid management systems to allow the integration of a large share of renewable energies.

Developing successful storage and grid management solutions is crucial to the success of European offshore wind. The large volumes of electricity generated by offshore wind farms will present new challenges for electricity networks and system operators.

Upgrading one of EDF’s pumped storage hydroelectric power plants from fixed speed to variable speed will be a cornerstone of the project. This will provide 70MW of regulation capability, allowing the integration of hundreds of megawatts of wind or solar power.

Pumped storage has long been considered the most flexible and economic means of mass electricity storage. But most European plants are fixed speed, so they can only provide power regulation in generation mode.

E-storage will also develop solutions for coupling the dispatch of storage plants with renewable generation through sophisticated energy and market management systems.

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