French transmission system operator RTE’s project Ringo is trialling automated management of an industrial-scale battery network.
The €80 million ($95 million) project, believed to be a world-first for its scale, is developing energy storage on three widely distributed sites across France.
The first of these to be inaugurated is in Vingeanne-Jalancourt in the municipality of Fontenelle in the east of France, close to wind farms in service or under development.
The other sites are at Bellac, where wind and solar generation is in place in the west and Ventavon near solar production sites in the southeast of France.
Together the three sites will total approximately 100MW of storage capacity. These will store energy during periods of surplus production and release it as needed at other times when there is an insufficient renewable generation, such as the absence of solar overnight, to meet the demand.
The three sites will be controlled remotely with software developed by RTE based on data collected from across the network in real-time to optimise the storage requirements.
The batteries at the Vingeanne-Jalancourt site are being provided by Nidec Asi, the group’s Energy & Infrastructure division.
The batteries at the Bellac site are from SAFT and Schneider Electric and those at Ventavon from Blue Solutions.
All three sites are due to be in operation by March 2022 and testing will continue over three years until early 2025.
Ringo is part of the innovation effort launched by RTE to transform the electricity system drawing on the latest technologies.
“This is why it is essential to have an industrial-sized demonstrator such as Ringo,” says a statement from RTE.
“Tomorrow, battery storage could contribute to the passage of peak consumption during cold periods and will participate in the management of production surpluses throughout the network.”