Call +1(917) 993 7467 or connect with one of our experts to get full access to the most comprehensive and verified construction projects happening in your area. Close Section


The ‘Software-Controlled Battery Experiment' By A French Grid Operator Has Begun

Last Updated on 08th January 2024

In northeastern France, a grid-scale battery energy storage system (BESS) has gone live, and the national transmission grid operator RTE will utilize it to analyze the role of automated electricity storage in controlling power flows.


Nidec Industrial Solutions was one of the companies chosen to take part in RTE's "Ringo" project, which involves the deployment of three battery storage devices at important points around continental France.


Each BESS will be utilized to store and deliver excess renewable energy to local electrical networks, assisting in grid congestion relief, especially during peak demand periods. It could not only enhance the quantity of renewable energy that can be used, but it could also minimize the demand for thermal power plants to keep the system balanced.


Ringo is “piloting a system of software-controlled batteries,” according to RTE, and is assisting in the absorption of excess local renewable energy that can then be released as needed elsewhere on the transmission system. Renewable energy provided roughly 23% of metropolitan France's electricity consumption in 2019, but the country needs to go considerably further to meet European Union carbon neutrality targets, which call for net zero by 2050.


If the so-called "experiment" succeeds, it might save the network operator — a regulated monopoly that serves the entire country — a significant amount of money that it would otherwise have to spend on power lines and other equipment. The Energy Regulatory Commission of France has committed €80 million (US$94.24 million) to the three-system deployment (CRE).


Nidec announced the opening of their project, a BESS with a rated output of 12MW and a capacity of 24MWh, on July 2 in a press statement issued to media outlets including late last week. The system is located near Vingeanne-Jalancourt, in the Côte-d'Or department of France's northeast.


The system will be controlled remotely, with real-time data collected, and algorithms that optimize the battery's charge and dispatch will be used to automate the battery's performance on the grid. The BESS is powered by lithium-ion batteries with a high density of nickel manganese cobalt (NMC). Ringo is the "first worldwide experiment in the automated management of a large-scale battery network" according to RTE.


In late 2019, Nidec ASI, Total's battery storage subsidiary Saft in conjunction with Schneider Electric, and a consortium lead by battery tech startup Blue Solutions were given Project Ringo contracts. The construction of Nidec's Vingeanne-Jalancourt BESS began in January 2020 and was finished on time, according to the company.


The projects' ability to perform their intended function will be evaluated for three years, after which they will be available for use in a variety of market opportunities, including the new automated frequency restoration reserve (aFRR) ancillary service market, which will be rolled out across Europe in the coming years.


RTE is effectively testing whether batteries can operate as "virtual transmission lines," allowing batteries to provide "transmission constraint management, or congestion management at the transmission system level," according to industry expert Corentin Baschet of consultancy Clean Horizon. With a total rated output of 32MW from three two- or three-hour battery systems, RTE is evaluating what function it can play on a relatively small scale, by transmission operator standards.


“It's a new way for them to transport electricity virtually,” Baschet explained, “because charging a battery at one point and discharging it at another is the same as transporting electricity.”


Dominique Llonch, CEO of Nidec's battery storage business Nidec ASI and chairman of Nidec Industrial Solutions, said, "The experiment we launched today with RTE is a fundamental step towards achieving a zero-emissions society by 2050, a goal Europe is committed to reaching."


“To achieve this, more electricity will have to be produced which is why it will be necessary to improve energy management by modulating production and consumption. Ringo will allow us to acquire the knowledge and experience needed to overcome this challenge. We are proud that RTE has chosen us as a partner in this highly innovative project.”


Around 1GWh of BESS has been deployed by Nidec Industrial Solutions around the world, including the first megawatt-scale solution in France, which was installed in 2013 on the island of Corsica.


This is part of our Global Project Tracker Services . For more details about the services, please get in touch here.

How can we help
you today?