Stornetic wins EDF flywheel storage supply deal

FRANCE: German firm Stornetic has been awarded the contract to supply a flywheel energy storage system to renewables developer and utility EDF.

Stornetic will provide a flywheel storage system to EDF's Concept Grid site in France

Under the agreement Stornetic will deliver its system by June 2017, at EDF's new smart grid test facility in Moret-sur-Loing, near Paris, France, as part of the utility's research into smart grid energy systems and services.

At the site, EDF is able to reproduce real distribution, medium- and low-voltage networks and test innovative electrical equipment in fully controllable conditions.

As well as being used to provide simulated services like renewables smoothing and frequency regulation, the flywheel will also be operated in an 'islanding mode' – a stabalising solution for microgrids.

EDF's Concept Grid laboratory has been set up to validate energy storage and other innovative solutions for the electrical system.

It aims to help reduce time to market of new smart grid technologies, by helping manufacturers, start-ups and academics to understand and meet the challenges of real-field environment.

The Concept Grid comprises 10km of real electrical medium- and low-voltage networks. It has several substations and test areas, a neighbourhood of five small houses fitted with local generation, and it can also perform bespoke scenarios.

It is designed to help to provide EDF with insights into how island grids and remote grids – as well as microgrids, for commercial and industrial energy users – operate.

Some companies, like ABB, are commercialising island grid energy storage systems based on flywheel storage.

"In the Concept Grid we can show our system... in different modes and accelerated tests, to help us bring our technology to market," said Stornetic project manager Thilo Engelmann.