Advanced Battery Storage is a stationary energy battery storage project based on the use of Renault Group electric vehicle batteries. Its first two installations have just been unveiled in France and Germany. At the same time, in the UK, the SmartHubs project is using this same technology to develop a local power grid. We review this forward-looking solution and present its latest developments.
Why is it important to store energy?
At this time of energy transition, storage is a key factor in increasing the proportion of renewable energy sources in the energy mix. One of the major difficulties facing the power grid is the real-time management of the discrepancy between supply and demand, at the risk of compromising the stability and capacity of the domestic grid. This difficulty increases with the incorporation of various energy sources with sporadic production capacities, like wind or solar power. Stationary energy battery storage, wherein energy reserves can be built up and drawn on as needed, acts as a buffer to manage this discrepancy and balance out the network to which it’s connected.
Stationary storage and electric vehicle batteries
Renault Group is committed to sustainable mobility. Going beyond its position as an automobile manufacturer, the group is taking action with the conviction that the electric vehicle is an integral part of the electric ecosystem as a whole. In collaboration with various players in the energy industry, Groupe Renault has developed storage technology using repurposed batteries. When a battery no longer meets the demands of automotive use, it can (before being recycled) be repurposed for large-scale electricity storage. This is a less restrictive and demanding role in terms of energy density and available power. “With a battery, we have much more than a device for mobility. Once the battery’s useful life as an automotive component is over, its residual value is still very high, and it can be used for other applications that are less rigorous, like stationary energy storage. For us it’s the logical next step,” explains Dr. Christophe Dudezert, Program Manager for Energy Services at Renault, and in charge of developing and rolling out the Advanced Battery Storage project in France and Germany.
The residual value of an electric vehicle battery is very high. It can be used for other applications like stationary energy storage, which is the logical next step.
Three new projects in France, Germany and the UK
Several experimental initiatives are ongoing, like the one in Porto Santo (Portugal) which uses ZOE and Kangoo Z.E. batteries. Another operating at the SyDEV (the Vendée Departmental Energy and Equipment Union) in La Roche sur Yon (France) is using Kangoo Z.E. batteries. Besides these, three new storage projects have just been launched in Europe.
At the end of 2018, Renault Group announced the launch of the Advanced Battery Storage (ABS) project, a major stationary energy storage system using electric vehicle batteries. It is set to be rolled out to several sites in Europe to reach a capacity of 70 MWh. The George Besse Renault factory in Douai (northern France) now houses the first ABS installation. It has a total capacity of 4.9 MWh, achieved using repurposed batteries and new batteries pending future post-purchase use.
Since the end of November, the ABS project has had a second storage site in Germany. In Elverlingsen, an old coal-fired power plant is home to the country’s first installation of its kind. Developed by Renault Group, The Mobility House and Fenecon, this new storage unit comprises 72 new Renault ZOE batteries with a total capacity of 2.9 MWh.
In West Sussex (UK), the SmartHubs project combines several technologies, including stationary energy storage in containers. The idea is to feed cleaner, cheaper energy into a local electricity grid to power social housing, businesses, transport and more. Designed by Connected Energy, the 360 kWh E-STOR systems each comprise 24 repurposed Kangoo Z.E. batteries. They will be installed on various industrial and commercial sites. Several containers will even be connected to solar panels and electric vehicle chargers to optimize the use of renewable energies and cut costs. The SmartHubs project draws on a total of 1000 repurposed batteries with total capacity of 14.5 MWh, which is enough energy to power 1,695 homes for a whole day.
The development of stationary energy battery storage shows how opportunities for innovation are arising out of today’s environmental challenges. In response to this, MOBILIZE recently signed an agreement with betteries, a German start-up, to design and industrialize innovative energy storage solutions to extend the life of electric vehicle batteries.
Copyrights : Groupe Renault