Integrating renewable energies into the electricity grid
Morges, August 24, 2020 – Carried out as part of the “REel” research project (for Réseau En Equilibre Local), this installation aims to validate that the massive integration of decentralised and intermittent energies (solar, wind) into the electricity network is indeed feasible. As storage batteries represent the most accessible answer to ensure the balancing of the network, large-scale tests must now be carried out.
An industrial size battery by Leclanché
12 metres long, with a capacity of 2.5 megawatt-hours (MWh) and a power output of 2 megawatts (MW), this lithium-ion battery will optimize the local use of the region’s abundant solar production. The experiment will focus on the intelligent management required to store solar production throughout the day. Since solar energy production is by definition variable, this battery technology will allow the consumption of excess daytime production to be carried forward into the evening.
A grid battery will achieve the same result as asking hundreds of households to adapt their consumption behaviour without impacting their comfort. In addition, the software for controlling the charging and discharging of the main battery optimises the life of the battery and leads to a more efficient and sustainable use of the storage system.
Electric mobility: a second challenge
Taking into account the increasing deployment of electric mobility, the test by Swiss company GOFAST, will be developed in parallel with the construction of a rapid recharging station for electric vehicles. This infrastructure, the most ambitious in the region, will eventually offer 24 rapid charging stations with a total capacity of 1.8 megawatts (MW). The charging stations, which are compatible with all makes of vehicles, will allow users to enjoy a range of up to 200 km with a simple coffee break. GOFAST, which develops and operates the largest rapid charging network in Switzerland, is thus accelerating its deployment in French-speaking Switzerland.
Here too, intelligent battery management will play a key role as a buffer between the local network and the occasional high-power calls generated by rapid vehicle recharges.
Answers for researchers
The REel demonstration project should provide validation of the research undertaken, with a view to the implementation of the Energy Strategy 2050. The improvement of the power grid management and monitoring system, the addition of additional functionalities, the overall flexibility of the power system and the interaction between the different levels of the grid and the generation facilities are among the main points that will be observed during this full-scale test.
It will allow, where appropriate, to validate innovative solutions for the monitoring and management of the future smart grid at various scales, from the smart city to the home. It will also serve to raise public awareness of energy transition technologies.
The project is supported by the pilot and demonstration programme of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE), the Direction générale de l’environnement de l’Etat de Vaud (DGE) as well as the commune of Aigle, which thus reinforces its status as an “Energy City”.
The REel project is the result of collaboration between Romande Energie and the SCCER-FURIES (“Future Swiss Electrical Infrastructure”) competence centre for energy research supported by Innosuisse and headed by Professor Mario Paolone of the EPFL. The REel project began in 2017 and will continue until 2022 at several sites in the Romande Energie area. The synergy provided by the GOFAST project will allow the partners’ research activities to continue at this pilot site.
Photos available on: https://cloud.romande-energie.ch/index.php/s/uzKJSbH8qyxKKij
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