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Q Energy starts building 35MW/44MWh BESS in France

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The European renewable energy IPP arm of Korean conglomerate Hanwha Group, Q Energy, has started building one of the largest battery energy storage system (BESS) projects in France.

The 35MW/44MWh BESS will be built at the Emile Huchet power plant site in the the town of Saint-Avold, in the northeast of the country, and will be one of the largest in France when completed, Q Energy said.

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The project, called Merbette, will comprise 24 containerised BESS units though the technology provider was not revealed.

Its deployment is part of a decarbonisation of the fossil fuel site by owner GazelEnergie, an operator of fossil fuel power plants across France.

The 44MWh energy storage project will be installed on the Emile Huchet power plant site in the northeast of France. Once commissioned, it will be one of the largest facilities in the country. Q ENERGY is currently driving a development pipeline of more than 1GW of energy storage projects across Europe.

Sang Chull Chung, CEO of Q Energy, said the project is the first of a 1GW pipeline of BESS the company is preparing across Europe, of which 400MW will be in France alone.

Another, similarly-sized BESS in France was recently commissioned also at a fossil fuel site as part of its decarbonisation. Oil and gas major TotalEnergies commissioned a 44MW BESS at its Grandpuits oil refinery, near Paris, along with a 28MW solar PV array, in March 2023. A few months later it enlisted BESS provider Saft to do the same at one of its refineries in Belgium.

Technically, the largest BESS in France is being built on one of its overseas territories, New Caledonia, with independent power producer (IPP) Akuo Energy enlisted to deliver the project.

Q Energy is the renewable energy development and IPP arm of Hanwha Group, which also owns Hanwha Qcells, a global PV module manufacturer. It is comprised of Germany-based Q ENERGY Europe GmbH and and France-based Q ENERGY France SAS, the latter of which was formed through Hanwha’s acquisition of the French development arm of RES Group.

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