Successful management of a 100% renewable virtual power plant in southeastern France
While photovoltaic and wind power are variable renewable energy sources, hydroelectricity can be stored. Theoretically, the latter can be used to help counteract the variability of the former. The So FLEX’hy* project led by EDF Hydro put this theory to the test, confirming that generation that complied with grid constraints was achievable. For this project, EDF Store & Forecast kitted out a 100% renewable, innovative virtual power plant in southeastern France with its autonomous energy management system (EMS).
EDF Store & Forecast’s software solution provides autonomous and optimized real-time management of several industrial energy production facilities that form a virtual power plant located in the French PACA (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur) region:
- The photovoltaic plants in Manosque (4.1 MW), Sainte-Tulle (5.2 MW) and Istres (20.5 MW)
- The La Montagne Ardéchoise wind farm (43 MW)
- Several small-scale hydroelectric installations on the La Durance river (20-40 MWh)**
EDF Store & Forecast’s EMS manages the variability of renewable wind and solar power generation thanks to the hydroelectric facilities that can be partly employed as a flexible resource when needed. This smart, on-site management helps resolve grid congestion issues and balance the electrical system.
EDF Store & Forecast designed, developed and implemented the IT system connected to EDF’s hydraulic control center in the commune of Sainte-Tulle in compliance with safety regulations. The wind and solar-power generation forecasts produced by the company help enhance overall energy management.
So FLEX’hy has enabled EDF Store & Forecast to verify that its EMS solution can be adapted to both flexible hydroelectric energy sources and the management of local virtual power plants. In this way, the company is contributing to the development of innovative solutions for the integration of variable renewable energy into decentralized grids that are both smarter and more resilient.
* So FLEX’hy is the world’s first virtual power plant that combines variable renewable energies (photovoltaic and wind power) with a flexible renewable energy source (hydroelectricity), all managed and optimized in real time. This project constitutes part of the Flexgrid program within the Capenergies competitiveness cluster.
** Except the hydroelectric installations that belong to EDF Hydro, the other facilities are owned by Sonnedix (Istres) and EDF Renewables (Manosque, Sainte-Tulle, La Montagne Ardéchoise).