Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Engie opens smart solar power plant in Corsica

Steve Rogerson
October 20, 2015
French utility Engie has opened a solar power plant in Corsica. The plant is linked to a smart energy storage and management system. It will generate enough electricity to cover the needs of more than 1000 households in Corsica.
Located in Alata, 20km north of Ajaccio, in southern Corsica, this power plant combines power generation and smart management of solar energy
Designed and deployed by Cofely Ineo and run by Corsica Sole, it combines a 4.4MWc ground-based photovoltaic power plant, featuring 13,455 solar panels, with a smart energy storage and management system that includes lithium-ion battery storage technology, energy conversion device, and smart management system that controls and adjusts the power produced in real time.
Surplus power generated during very sunny periods is stored so it can be fed into the grid at times where there is less sun. As a result, peaks and troughs are smoothed out, stabilising power generation and freeing it from variable weather and peaks in demand. This allows the Alata solar smart grid to anticipate and stabilise solar energy generation.
With this power plant, Engie says it is bringing innovation to the field of energy storage, a key element in the process of decarbonising energy uses and decentralising methods of generating power. The utility is trialling a number of projects to make decentralisation an asset in making the energy transition a success. For example, the group develops electricity storage for industrial and service sector sites, and rolls out the smart grid experience, a smart grid covering an entire business park in Toulouse.
A focus on renewable energy is one of Engie’s priority strategies, and the group is aiming to become the leader of the energy transition in Europe. The group intends to double its renewable electricity capacities between 2015 and 2025 to reach 16GW. The utility also has more than 20GW3 of installed capacity from renewable energy – almost 20 per cent of its overall installed capacity.
With the acquisition last July of Solairedirect, a key player in competitive solar energy generation, Engie now leads the sector in France with a total gross installed capacity of 383MW. In France, the group is also the leader in onshore wind farms (more than 1450MW) and is expanding in the field of renewable marine energy with projects involving offshore wind farms (Dieppe – Le Tréport, the islands of Yeu and Noirmoutier – 1000MW) and tidal energy.
Engie employs 152,900 people worldwide and achieved revenues of €74.7bn in 2014.