26 Sep 18

Renault builds Europe’s biggest EV battery storage system

Renault has announced that will build an Advanced Battery Storage (ABS) system. By 2020, ABS will be the biggest stationary storage system for energy developed by EV batteries ever designed in Europe. It will have a storage capacity of at least 60 MWh. 

Groupe Renault is the European leader in electric mobility. With its new project, the French manufacturer demonstrates its ambition to leverage that leadership into the pole position in the domain of EV battery storage as well. 

Second lease
Once life as a power source for vehicles is over, EV batteries continue to be capable of storing a significant amount of energy. Renault is able to harness this energy in less demanding environments, notably for the purposes of stationary energy storage. 

By giving batteries a second lease of life, Renault is today able to cover the full spectrum of energy storage needs, from individual homes to office buildings, factories, schools and apartment blocks, and even the charging of electric vehicles.

Storage capacity
The first ABS facilities will be developed in early 2019, at the Renault plants in Douai and Cléon in France, and at a former coal-fired plant in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The storage capacity will then be gradually expanded over time to contain the energy of 2,000 EV batteries. At this phase, the system will have reached - or more likely, exceed - the 60 MWh, equivalent to the daily consumption of a small city (5,000 households).

Maintaining balance
The purpose of the ABS system is to manage the difference between electricity consumption and production at a given time, in order to increase the proportion of renewable sources in the energy mix. This means maintaining the balance between offer and demand on the electricity grid by integrating different energy sources with fluctuating production capacities. 

The slightest gap between consumption and production sets off disturbances that can compromise the stability of the local frequency (50 Hz). “Our stationary storage solution aims to offset these differences: it delivers its reserves to a point of imbalance in the grid at a given time to reduce the effects,” said Nicolas Schottey, Director of the Groupe Renault New Business Energy programme. 

By helping to maintain the balance of the grid, the stationary storage system will boost the economic attractiveness of low-carbon energies.

High capacity
The ABS system is built using EV batteries collected in containers. The system uses second-life batteries, as well as new batteries stored for future use in standard replacement during after-sales operations. “This unique assembly will give ABS the capacity to generate or absorb 70MW of power. This high power combined with high capacity of our solution will allow ABS to react efficiently to all major grid demands”, explains Nicolas Schottey. 

The ABS programme is part of Groupe Renault’s strategy to develop a smart electric ecosystem to facilitate the transition to a renewable energy paradigm. For this project, Groupe Renault teamed up with various partners in the electric energy domain, including the Mitsui Group, The Mobility House, Demeter and La Banque des Territoires. The ABS programme signals Renault’s transition from a mere manufacturer of vehicles to becoming a player in the smart electric and energy market.

Image: © Groupe Renault Communication

Authored by: Frank Jacobs