A European consortium has been awarded a €13.3 million grant by the European Commission to push the development of cost-effective integration of renewables like wind into the electrical grid.
The consortium, eStorage — made up of Alstom, the consortium leader; Elia, a transmission system operator; EDF, a generation company; Imperial College, an academic Institution; DNV Kema, an engineering consultancy and testing & certification company; and Algoé, a management consultancy — will look to develop a solution to create cost-effective integration methods for intermittent renewable energy generation into the electrical grid.
eStorage’s mission is “to develop cost-effective solutions for the widespread deployment of flexible, reliable, GWh-scale energy storage across the EU and to enhance grid management systems to allow the integration of a large share of renewable energies.”
The cornerstone of the consortium’s goals is to upgrade consortium member EDF’s Le Cheylas fixed-speed Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Plant (PSP) to a variable-speed PSP. Upon completion of this upgrade, the Le Cheylas plant will be capable of providing 70 megawatts of additional nighttime regulation capability which itself will allow the integration of several hundred megawatts of intermittent renewable generation such as wind turbines.
If this upgrade is successful, it will demonstrate that the majority of European PSP can be upgraded in this way, which would result in 10 gigawatts of additional regulation capability with absolutely no environmental impact and at an obviously lower rate than building completely new plants.
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