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Boralex commissions BESS at wind farm in France in EU-supported demonstration project


Canada-based renewable energy firm Boralex has turned on a 3.3MWh battery storage unit attached to a wind farm in France.

The battery storage project has been installed at the site of the Plouguin wind farm, an 8MW generating facility in the Finistere department of Brittany, northwest France.

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Boralex was selected to deliver the energy storage project following a call for expressions of interest (EOI) by the council of Brittany in 2019. It was co-financed by the European Union through its European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The project was launched to demonstrate the technical feasibility for a hybridised wind-plus-storage project in supplying primary resources to the grid, according to inter-regional agency SMILE (Smart Ideas to Link Energies) which supported the project.

It aims to demonstrate that adding a battery to a wind site enables it to provide new services while increasing the ISO-connected installed capacity, and encourages an increase in renewable energy generation on the Brittany electricity network, SMILE added.

Boralex added in its announcement that the project will contribute to the stability of the French electricity grid. It will storage energy from the wind farm and dispatch it to the energy grid when it is needed, the company said.

“In the current context of accelerating renewable energy development and growing energy needs, energy storage is a promising solution for greater grid flexibility and more efficient consumption of competitive, lowcarbon energy,” said Nicolas Wolff, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Boralex, Europe.

“Thanks to sites like Plouguin and, before it, Vallée de l’Arce (Aube, Grand Est), we are looking
beyond just producing green energy. We are putting in place innovative services to accompany the rise of renewable energies and contribute to the energy transition.”

It is the company’s second storage deployment in France after a 2MW system was commissioned to adjoin two wind farms totalling 40MW in the Aube department, in eastern France in 2020.

Brittany was also the location of an 80MW wind farm (Moulins de Lohan) that Boralex commissioned in February this year, bringing its worldwide renewable energy capacity to over 3GW.

The region currently imports 85% of its electricity but has the second-largest wind energy resource in France, Boralex said.

The company recently won a tender in New York, US, for a solar PV farm with a four-hour, 77MW/308MWh battery energy storage system.

Wind farms are less frequently hybridised with energy storage than solar PV because of the larger minimum project size and less predictable variability, with sharper peaks meaning heavier battery cycling and potentially faster degradation.

But this is expected to increase in future with several projects showcasing the benefits of the combination. Earlier this year reported on a battery system doubling the utilisation of a wind farm on the Faroe Islands.

Read all wind-plus-storage project news here.

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