European Commission funds renewables integration project
The European Commission has awarded a consortium of stakeholders €13.3m to integrate renewable energy generation into the electrical grid.
eStorage, a consortium of major European stakeholders from the electric power value chain, will aim to develop solutions for the widespread deployment of GWh-scale energy storage across the EU and to enhance grid management systems to allow the integration of a large share of renewable energies.
Part of the funding will be used to upgrade consortium member EDF's Le Cheylas fixed speed Pumped Storage hydroelectric Plant (PSP) to a variable speed PSP.
Once completed, Le Cheylas will provide 70MW of additional night time regulation capability which will allow the integration of several hundred megawatts of intermittent renewable generation.
According to consortium leader, Alstom, the upgrade will demonstrate that a significant portion of European PSP capacity can be upgraded to variable speed, providing up to 10GW of additional regulation capability with no environmental impact and at a much lower cost than developing new plants.
Alstom said: "PSPs are the most flexible and widespread means for mass storage of electricity. By transferring water between two reservoirs at different elevations, they deliver electricity at the time of high demand or low generation (for example on a calm day when there is little electricity produced from wind generation), and they store electricity from excess generation of wind and solar plants during periods of low demand".
The consortium will also develop and demonstrate solutions for coupling the dispatch of storage plants with renewable generation using advanced energy and market management systems.