France's number one independent producer of renewable energies and one of the fastest-growing in the world, announced that construction of the Azur Stockage project has begun. When completed, it will be the largest power storage unit connected directly to the grid in mainland France. With a 6 MW / 6 MWh power rating, the unit will use its storage capacity to perform frequency regulation services for the grid, helping keep any frequency deviation in check. For more information see the IDTechEx report on Batteries for Residential, Commercial, Industrial and Utility Applications 2016-2026
The project is coordinated with RTE and Enedis, the power transmission and distribution operators, the Nouvelle- Aquitaine region and Azur municipality. The Azur Stockage unit will be controlled remotely and can be activated in less than 30 seconds to help restore grid frequency to its reference level of 50 Hz.
The project is located in Azur, a municipality in the Landes department where Neoen is already building a 9 MWp photovoltaic facility. The command and control system to stabilize the grid frequency, the containers for the lithium-ion batteries and all the auxiliary equipment are being assembled in France by Nidec ASI s.a. Nidec ASI s.a. will handle the entire turnkey project and will then operate and maintain the storage unit, under the supervision of Neoen's teams. Azur Stockage will be connected to the Enedis grid in February 2019.
Azur Stockage, the first unit of its kind in mainland France, will enable Neoen and the French electricity system to prepare as effectively as possible for the arrival of this new breed of storage unit in the European balancing reserve market.
Xavier Barbaro, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Neoen, commented: "We already own and operate the world's largest battery - in Australia - and we recently announced that construction of Central America's largest storage facility in El Salvador is underway. We were naturally keen to put our expertise to work for the benefit of the French electricity market. That plan is now coming to fruition with Azur Stockage, which is set to be France's largest grid battery storage facility. From a technological standpoint, lithium-ion storage is the most rapid and effective means of addressing grid balancing requirements. It is also the most cost-competitive solution available today. With this project, we hope to demonstrate the benefits of this solution, which will help promote the smooth development of wind and solar energy. We are very grateful to RTE and Enedis, the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region and the Azur municipal authorities for giving us the opportunity to implement this project and welcoming us on board."
Franck Girard, Chairman of Nidec ASI s.a.'s Management Board, added: "We are delighted and proud to have been chosen by Neoen to supply the energy storage installation used to stabilize the frequency of the French power grid. We exported and commissioned facilities of the same type very recently in Germany and the United Kingdom. We would like to thank Neoen for establishing this partnership to build the first unit of its kind in mainland France."
Michel Laussu, Mayor of Azur, continued: "I'm thrilled this ground-breaking project is going ahead in our local area. The batteries and solar farm will be housed on land belonging to the municipal council, which is playing its part in promoting the energy transition. We are very grateful to Neoen's teams. Once again, their professionalism and drive have been crucial in getting this project over the line, and they have worked closely with our municipal staff."
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