RTE and Nidec launch experimental automated large-scale battery management system

French public electricity transmission system operator RTE (Réseau de Transport d'Electricité), together with Nidec Industrial Solutions, has launched ‘Ringo’, the first experiment in the world for the automated management of a large-scale battery system
RTE and Nidec launch experimental automated large-scale battery management system
Courtesy of Nidec.

Located in Vingeanne - Jalancourt, in the Côte-d'Or department, Ringo is RTE's first experimental site for the automated management of large-scale electricity storage. The experiment will test the automatic management of surplus renewable electricity. This represents an important step in the process of transforming the electricity system, assisting in the energy transition from polluting to sustainable and renewable sources.

Nidec Industrial Solutions was chosen by RTE to install the first electrical energy storage system on mainland France, used to optimise management of energy flows on the transmission grid. The system makes it possible to better manage the electricity grid, avoiding congestion at times of peak demand. A project that sees battery storage systems become an integral part of modern electricity grids and key elements for realizing the vision of an electric and sustainable future.

Depending on weather conditions (sun, strong winds), local solar or wind energy production can greatly increase and exceed the transport capacity of the national electricity grid, resulting in the dispersion of the energy produced. The Ringo system makes it possible to store surplus renewable energy during peaks in production and return the stored energy to the grid as and when needed. This prevents having to build new electric lines and the loss of electricity produced from renewable sources thus contributing to reductions in CO2 emissions, without having to use polluting energy sources.

It is also a smart system in which, for the first time, a a storage battery site will be remote controlled using robots that collect data in real time, representing the first automatic control on a national energy grid. Thanks to sensors installed on the grid that constantly measure electron flows, algorithms are able to optimise storage in real time.

The Vingeanne - Jalancourt site, located in a region of high wind energy production, was chosen as the location for one of the experimental batteries with a storage capacity of 12 MW/24MWh, equal to the amount of energy produced by 5 wind turbines or the consumption of 10,000 families. Work commenced in January 2020, and now the system has been put into service, meeting the expected delivery times, despite the difficulties encountered due to the pandemic. The experiment will last 3 years, the time needed to learn how to manage renewable energy.

More specifically, for the Vingeanne - Jalancourt site, Nidec Industrial Solutions is supplying its power electronics converters and the PMS (Power Management System) control system that make it possible to convert stored energy into electricity and use it to feed into the grid supplying consumers. The batteries connected to the grid that make the storage of surplus renewable energy possible are of the NMC (Nickel, Manganese, Cobalt) high energy density lithium-ion type.

The Ringo project meets the renewable energy development goals set by the French government and aims to make the electricity transmission grid more flexible by 2030 and to integrate, in particular, large-scale electricity storage solutions. This is to ensure that all French people have access at all times to a safe, clean and affordable power supply. The experiment has been approved by the French CRE (Commission de Régulation de l'Energie - Energy Regulatory Commission) for a total investment of 80 million euros.

“The experiment we have launched today with RTE is a fundamental step towards achieving a zero-emissions society by 2050, a goal Europe is committed to reaching” said Dominique Llonch, CEO of Nidec ASI and Chairman of Nidec Industrial Solutions. “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. A collaboration that confirms our world leadership in renewable energy battery storage systems, which incorporate advanced technologies and solutions, offered at the best price and able to guarantee reduced execution times. Thanks to this, we can contribute to realising the vision of an electric and green future”.

Nidec Industrial Solutions, has reached approximately 1 GWh of BESS plants installed worldwide, making it one of the top 3 world leaders in the sector. The group has significant experience in France, having developed in 2013 the country's first BESS plant of over one megawatt (7000 kW) installed on the island of Corsica. In Europe, Nidec is currently developing electricity storage systems in Germany, England and Finland.

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