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Schneider Electric and Saft partner on two 1MW PV-plus-storage projects in France

As part of France's programme to install PV-plus-storage on its island territories, renewable energy developer Langa has selected integrated solutions provider Schneider Electric and battery designer Saft for two new projects in Corsica.

Langa’s new installations, awarded under the French public tender plan, Commission de Régulation de l'Energie (CRE), will be located near Corte and Castifao on the French-governed Mediterranean island. With an expected PV capacity of 1MWp and a storage capacity of 1MWh, each site will generate over 1,300MWh annually.

Schneider Electric and Saft agreed to a partnership in order to meet Langa’s requirements on the two sites — offering solutions in design, equipment installation, managing system and maintenance services.

Once completed by the end of 2015, the two sites are expected to produce enough energy to power over 400 homes annually.

As part of the consortium, Schneider Electric will implement a variety of its solutions into the plants, including a PVBox for solar power conversion, ESBox for battery power conversion, Energy Management System (EMS) for global equipment management and will also be tasked with taking care of the interconnection between various components of the installations.

In each site, Saft will provide its energy storage solution, Intensium Max+ 20E, which consists of a lithium-ion battery of 1MWh encased in a 20-foot holder. The solution also holds thermal and safety management features, a battery management system and an interface with the Schneider Electric control system. 

Royal's French solar revival and island PV storage

France currently has in place a 50MW programme to endow Corsica and its other island territories with solar-plus-storage projects that should provide a degree of energy security and lower reliance on fossil fuels in many of those remote areas.

The island projects feed in to a wider plan to revive the country’s solar programmes on minister for ecology, sustainable development and energy, Ségolène Royal’s watch. After several years of inactivity, the government has launched tenders for solar PV projects at varying scales, this year and last.

Island territories in the meantime are seen as a ‘double win’ for storage-connected PV system deployment. As highlighted in an International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) technology roadmap document out earlier this year, islands without heavy-duty grid infrastructure and a reliance on imported diesel can provide an opportunity to reduce carbon emissions by replacing that diesel with PV generated power. Due to diesel import costs and other factors rendering PV and batteries the cheaper option in many cases, these territories provide an economic opportunity for storage developers as well as their populations. IRENA analyst Ruud Kempener also told PV Tech Storage in a recent interview that "storage in islands and remote areas is the most important area where electricity storage can support the deployment of renewable power generation".

Additional rerporting by Andy Colthorpe.

Cover image credit: Langa.


"…storage in islands and remote areas is the most important area where electricity storage can support the deployment of renewable power generation".
Ruud Kempener, IRENA.

French minister for ecology, sustainable development and energy, Ségolène Royal has overseen the launch of tenders aimed at reviving the country's interest in PV. Image: Flickr/Guillaume Paumier.

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