Automaker Renault has announced the commissioning of the first Advanced Battery Storage (ABS) project in Douai, France and the SmartHubs Project in the UK.
The two major European projects using second-life batteries are part of the Renault Group’s e-Ways commitment to sustainable mobility.
Imbalances are caused in the electricity grid by intermittent production from renewable energy sources. The integration of batteries to the electricity grid will help to maintain the balance between supply and demand.
The Georges Besse factory in Douai is home to the first ABS installation, delivered by NIDEC ASI, an integrator partner and storage solution provider. The project is part of Renault’s strategy to develop an intelligent electrical ecosystem in favour of the energy transition. This new project is based on the need for frequency regulation on the electricity grid. Stationary energy storage makes it possible to regulate and stabilise the network by charging the batteries when demand is low, then supplying the energy contained in these batteries back to the grid when demand is high.
The ABS system is based on EV batteries stored in containers with a capacity target of 50MWh at several sites in France. The Douai site has an installed capacity of 4.7MWh using second-life batteries.
Renault is working with Connected Energy on the SmartHubs project located in West Sussex, UK. The second life batteries will be incorporated into Connected Energy’s specially designed E-STOR systems.
Project SMARTHUBS is one of four pilot projects to be awarded Innovate UK funding. It is the only one to test new innovations around electrical and heat energy and energy for transport at scale. The other Innovate UK-funded projects are located in Oxfordshire and Orkney.
Steve Read, the County Council’s Director of Energy, Waste and Environment, said: “We are delighted to be part of Project SMARTHUBS. This is an exciting opportunity and recognition of our growing reputation for delivering successful, pioneering energy projects such as our solar farms, battery storage projects and Solar Power for Schools programme.
“The lessons we learn will help the Government to plan ahead and adapt our national energy system to the fundamental changes taking place. These include the growth in renewable energy supply, increasing demand for energy from electric vehicles and other innovations and the challenge of balancing energy supply and demand.”
The SmartHubs project will install several 360kWh E-STOR systems on industrial and commercial sites, with some linked to solar panels and EV chargers to help sites reduce energy costs and optimize the use of renewable energy. A large E-STOR system using around 1,000 second-life batteries to store 14.5 MWh of energy will also be installed, this will rapidly charge and discharge to help balance the electricity network. It will store enough energy to power 1,695 average homes for a full day.
The SmartHubs project is carried out by a consortium led by Connected Energy with partners Moixa, PassivSystems, ICAX, Newcastle University, West Sussex County Council and Innovate UK.