Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

EDF and Stornetic collaborate on smart grid storage

Steve Rogerson
December 6, 2016
French electricity utility EDF has started a joint project with Germany-based Stornetic to study and develop advanced smart grid storage. The project will assess the performance of flywheel energy storage technology for the requirements of a modern grid environment.
To start the collaboration, Stornetic is going to deliver a DuraStor energy storage device to EDF by June 2017, which will be installed at the EDF Concept Grid site in Moret-sur-Loing near Paris.
The development of variable renewables has raised a lot of requirements for generation facilities and grid operators.
“We believe that energy storage will play a key role in the upcoming transformations of the electrical systems,” said Etienne Brière, renewables and storage programme director at EDF’s R&D department. “Thanks to the unique EDF experimental facility of Concept Grid, we are able to reproduce real distribution networks and test innovative electrical equipment in fully controllable conditions of operation. Thus, as one of the promising storage solutions, we are very excited to assess the performances of the Stornetic technology regarding various applications such as renewables smoothing or frequency regulation.”
The DuraStor enables grid operators to transform electrical energy into rotation energy and store it. It is durable, designed for more than a million charging cycles and retains its full capacity over its complete lifetime. It combines the advantages of mechanical energy storage, such as sturdiness and endurance, with the advantages of modularity and rapid installation. The device operates purely mechanically – without the use of chemicals – and is made of materials that are fully recyclable.
“We are thrilled to see EDF having decided for our solution,” said Stornetic’s director Olivier Marques-Borras. “We believe that our flywheel technology can make a real difference. It is ideal for customers with many charging and discharging cycles. This makes it highly interesting for operators of micro grids all around the globe. At the EDF Concept Grid site we are going to assess the advantages of our technology. We believe that flywheels will be part of the future of short-term energy storage.”
The Concept Grid laboratory is a smart grid test facility in the south of Paris. The laboratory is dedicated to the validation of innovations for the electrical system. It aims to reduce the time to market of smart grid technologies, by helping manufacturers, start-ups and academics understand and meet the challenges of real field environment.
Concept Grid is also a key laboratory for utilities to prepare and de-risk experimentations through accelerated test campaigns that would be impossible to conduct on the field. It is composed of 10km of real electrical medium and low voltage networks, it has several substations and test areas, a neighbourhood of five small houses fitted with local generation, and can perform bespoke scenarios with power hardware-in-the-loop simulation. It is open to external customers and collaborations.
The EDF Group is involved in supplying energy and services to approximately 37.6 million users, of which 27.8 million are in France. The group generated consolidated sales of €75bn in 2015, of which 47.2 per cent was outside of France.