December 12, 2012
eStorage, a consortium of major European stakeholders from the entire electric power value chain, has been awarded a €13.3 million grant by the European Commission to develop a solution for cost-effective integration of intermittent renewable energy generation, such as wind, into the electrical grid.
In addition to Alstom, the consortium leader, eStorage includes Elia, a transmission system operator; EDF, a generation company; Imperial College, an academic Institution; DNV Kema, an engineering consultancy and testing & certification company and Algoé, a management consultancy.
The mission of eStorage is to develop cost-effective solutions for the widespread deployment of flexible, reliable, GWh-scale energy storage across the EU and to enhance grid management systems to allow the integration of a large share of renewable energies.
The cornerstone of the eStorage project will be upgrading EDF's Le Cheylas fixed speed Pumped Storage hydroelectric Plant (PSP) to a variable speed PSP. Once completed, Le Cheylas will provide 70 MW of additional night time regulation capability which will allow the integration of several hundred MW of intermittent renewable generation. This will demonstrate that a significant portion of European PSP capacity can be upgraded to variable speed, providing up to 10 GW of additional regulation capability with no environmental impact and at a much lower cost than developing new plants.
The consortium will also develop and demonstrate solutions for coupling the dispatch of storage plants with renewable generation using advanced energy and market management systems. This will enable PSPs to maximise their value in the balancing markets.
PSPs are the most flexible and widespread means for mass storage of electricity. By transferring water between two reservoirs at different elevations, they deliver electricity at the time of high demand or low generation (for example on a calm day when there is little electricity produced from wind generation), and they store electricity from excess generation of wind and solar plants during periods of low demand.