Energy storage

There’s no efficient management of energy from renewables without efficient energy storage—it’s as simple as that. And since our region is fully committed to the ecological transition and a bio-based economy, we’re working hard to develop synergies between private-sector and publicly-funded research. It’s a terrific opportunity for companies that share our aims of growing and expanding on this market: let’s grow together.

Energy storage

There’s no efficient management of energy from renewables without efficient energy storage—it’s as simple as that. And since our region is fully committed to the ecological transition and a bio-based economy, we’re working hard to develop synergies between private-sector and publicly-funded research. It’s a terrific opportunity for companies that share our aims of growing and expanding on this market: let’s grow together.

Electric Vehicle Plugged

Private-sector initiatives

Energy storage is a major activity in the region, as these successful investments show.

Total battery-based storage in Dunkirk

In March 2020, Total announced plans to build the largest battery-based energy storage site in France, with a €15m investment. The site will have eleven 2.3MWh-capacity containers, representing total storage capacity equivalent to 25 MWh. Based on lithium-ion battery technology, this will be used to provide fast reserve services to support the stability of the French power grid.1 Commissioning is scheduled for late 2020.

1 Article: Total to build the largest battery-based energy storage site in France, March 12 2020, Total.com.

PSA and Total team up in battery gigafactory joint venture

In September 2020, PSA/Opel and Total/Saft joined forces as Automotive Cells Company to announce plans for a battery gigafactory.

Manufacturing will be split across 2 sites: Douvrin in Hauts-de-France and Kaiserslautern in Germany, both scheduled to be up and running in 2023.

The plants will reach full strength by 2030, with a combined capacity of 48 GWh a year— enough to equip one million electric vehicles—or over 10% of the European market.

GRHYD for power to gas

The GRHYD project, which manages networks by injecting hydrogen to decarbonize energy, lifted off in 2014 and is one of France’s largest initiatives developing the use of hydrogen. ENGIE is working with ten partners to coordinate this full-scale trial on the outskirts of Dunkerque.

Two pilot projects in Dunkerque

Hauts-de-France is currently hosting two trials using Hythane®—a new hydrogen/natural gas mix—as an energy source. These include:

  • an industrial-scale project in the form of an NGV refueling station designed to supply a blend of hydrogen and natural gas to city buses, initially at 6% hydrogen, rising to 20%.
  • a project to inject hydrogen into a natural gas distribution network. In a trial, the first 100 homes in a housing development in Cappelle-la-Grande were supplied with a blend of hydrogen and natural gas using a variable hydrogen content of below 20% by volume. This test run will eventually be expanded to serve a total of 200 homes.
biomethan in Hauts-de-France

Close-up: Key public research infrastructure in Hauts-de-France

Hauts-de-France is heavily involved in public-sector research in areas where new energy sources can promote energy transition.

Scientist with a microscope

The Energy Hub

In a building at the heart of the University of Picardy Jules Verne in Amiens, a team of expert researchers are immersed in world-class strategic research. The hub opened in 2018 and has the potential to turn Amiens—and the broader Hauts-de-France region—into the industry leader of the booming energy storage sector.

The Energy Hub is a cutting-edge research center, unique in France and intent on designing tomorrow’s batteries today.

It spans 5,500 sq m and includes:

  • research laboratories
  • startups
  • state-of-the-art equipment
  • 150 researchers, students, engineers and technicians
  • the headquarters of RS2E, a private-public partnership

This global center of excellence is focused on industry. The very latest equipment is available to test materials designed in its laboratories in real time.

Businesses can also commission research directly from the teams. Fun fact: Amiens researchers contributed to the battery for the ZOE, Renault’s electric car.

This hub focuses on improving rechargeable battery technologies that include:

  • Lithium-ion
  • Lithium-air
  • Sodium-ion
  • Hydrogen storage
  • Photovoltaic cell storage

The electrochemical energy storage network in Hauts-de-France

RS2E is a public-private network that was awarded the Laboratory of Excellence label (LabEx, held by the 11 STORE-EX laboratories). It is dedicated to accelerating fundamental research in new battery and supercapacitor technologies, leading up to industrial-scale production.

RS2E members include:

  • 17 research labs and universities
  • 15 industry partners
  • 3 public-sector organizations specializing in technology transfer

The network focuses on research into four areas of technology:

  • advanced lithium-ion
  • capacitor storage
  • environmentally sound storage
  • new chemicals

The LRCS laboratory has been storing and converting electricity for over 50 years

Based in Amiens, LRCS is a joint research unit with experts from CNRS and the University of Picardy Jules Verne that has been working on the reactivity and chemistry of solids for over 50 years. Its research centers on materials for energy storage and conversion. Its 100 researchers produce cutting-edge work ranging from the atomic level to pre-production prototypes, and from lithium-ion batteries to dye-sensitized solar cells.

batteries

Want to learn more about how Hauts-de-France is contributing to the environmental and bioeconomy transitions?