France to use batteries for Renewables Instead of Power Lines


PARIS: France’s grid operator will test storing excess wind and solar power in batteries to reduce the need to build new transmission lines that involve heavy construction work and take longer to complete. Network operators across Europe are seeking ways to both minimize the cost and environmental impact of the energy transition. Reseau de Transport d’Electricite estimates that France will need to spend 33 billion euros ($37 billion) by 2035 to renovate the network, build new interconnectors and make the grid more flexible to accommodate an influx of wind and solar farms as the country reduces its reliance on nuclear power. The project consists of installing three batteries near wind farms, far enough apart so they can each store enough power to supply a city of 10,000 inhabitants for a few hours, said Oliver Grabette, RTE’s head of solutions. When one of the batteries stores excess power production in a region, the other two will release the equivalent amount of electricity, so that the power market isn’t affected by the grid operator’s pilot project. The batteries will be tested from 2021 for about three years. They will then be used to help design the legal and technological framework to roll out similar power storage solutions elsewhere.