French Smart Grids industry mobilised around the Smart Islands at the 2017 European Utility Week

Published 18 Octobre 2017

From 3 to 5 October, more than 45 French companies gathered at the Creative France pavilion during European Utility Week 2017 in Amsterdam. For this new edition, the theme highlighted by the French delegation was Smart Islands. With this topic, many of the essential technological building blocks of Smart Grids were addressed: integration of renewable energies, management of flexibility, network management, development of microgrids, integration of electric vehicles, Internet of things.

Husahagi Wind Farm in the Faroe Islands – Photo credit : SEV

A French offer at every link in the value chain

True Smart Grids on a small scale, Smart Îles projects require the cooperation of many skills. The French Smart Grids sector has the major advantage of being able to support Smart Grids project leaders at every stage of the realisation of their projects:

  • Project design: The French industry offers a unique ecosystem of scientists, consultants and project managers capable of carrying out technical, economic, social, financial and many other studies.

  • Solution providers: A very large number of technological solutions have been developed by French companies on the subject of Smart Islands, including advanced solutions in the fields of software, IT, electrotechnical components and storage.

  • Systems integrators: The French ecosystem also benefits from large-scale systems integration companies with extensive experience in infrastructure projects in France and abroad.
  • Operational management: French network operators, and the network of players that support them, have unparalleled experience in the maintenance and management of energy infrastructures

Cutting-edge expertise in many areas related to the Smart Islands

The French sector has cutting-edge expertise on many technological bricks essential to the successful implementation of Smart Islands projects: Integration of renewable energies, management of flexibility, management of networks, development of microgrids, integration of electric vehicles, Internet of things,…

Think Smartgrids tableau compétences membres
Summary table of Smart Islands skills in the French industry – Credit Think Smartgrids

The table above lists the areas of expertise of a panel of French players in the Smart Islands.

Large-scale demonstrator projects

Beyond its theoretical assets, the French Smart Grids sector has also distinguished itself in the realization of more than 200 demonstration projects on the theme of the Smart Islands.

Think Smartgrids plaquette ZNI photo ile de sein
Aerial view of the Isle of Sein – Photo credit Sabella

  • Husahagi Project: In the Faroe Islands, French industry players carried out a project to integrate a 12 MW wind farm using several lithium ion storage modules with a total capacity of 2 MW, reducing losses from wind farm management by 30 to 10%, and stabilising the local distribution network to a wind energy penetration rate of 85%.

  • Île de Sein: Île de Sein has a variety of electricity generation facilities: 0.7 MW photovoltaic, 1 MW wind, 2.2 MW hydroelectric and 5.2 MW geothermal. Thanks to an infrastructure of intelligent meters and 1 MW of lithium ion storage, the French industry has managed to achieve complete energy autonomy on the island. This is a reference project for the French industry on the subject of Smart Islands.

  • PUSH Project: The PUSH project has been deployed in French Guiana, the Caribbean, Corsica and Reunion Island. It has consisted in setting up a system for collecting and transmitting energy data from renewable power plants. For the first time, a 5-minute delay was used, which made it possible to calculate in near real time the penetration rate of solar and wind energy on the project perimeter. This system has led to a better control and a 30% increase in the penetration rate of renewable energies.

  • Advanced SCADA: In the same area as the PUSH project, French industry players have set up an advanced SCADA system, which has enabled real-time monitoring of distribution infrastructures. The result has been a better anticipation of imbalance situations and a drastic reduction in service interruptions.

ITEMS International for Think Smartgrids

Article written in collaboration with Michael Lippert, an energy storage specialist, Business Development Manager for Saft