Sian Crampsie

Alstom and Saft have commissioned a smart battery energy storage system (BESS) at a research site owned by EDF.

The two firms say that the BESS technology – based on a Saft Lithium ion (Li-ion) battery and Alstom’s energy storage management software – will be able to regulate grid frequency, stabilize the grid and help to prevent blackouts.

It has been installed at EDF’s Concept Grid Lab at Les Renardi√®res, south of Paris, as part of a project to test the ability of battery-based energy storage solutions in primary frequency applications in France.

The 1 MW per 30 minutes BESS installation will undergo testing by EDF to evaluate its ability to regulate frequency on its Concept Grid, a real distribution network that is designed to support, test and anticipate the development of electrical systems towards smarter grids.

BESS technology could provide energy producers and grid operators with a new solution for releasing or storing energy into the grid when there is an imbalance between energy production and consumption. Battery technologies are also more flexible in this type of application compared with power plants as they can perform actions within a few hundred milliseconds, says Alstom.

The project is the second collaboration between Alstom and Saft in BESS technology.

In 2013 the two companies commissioned a 1 MW BESS for peak demand management in the Nice Grid smart solar city demonstration project in France.