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Faced with new ways of producing and consuming renewable energy and the need to meet ambitious environmental commitments, the electrical power distribution system must be adapted.
In Carros (French Riviera), NICE GRID worked to develop cutting-edge power grids that are more connected and more responsive thanks to high photovoltaic power generation, storage units and smart equipment.
The pilot project is centered on the consumer, who becomes a “pro-sumer” (producer-consumer) by generating and storing electricity., Nice Grid draws on innovative technology, next-generation Linky smart meters and existing electrical infrastructures to test the entire smart grid concept.
NICE GRID is a leading French demonstrator who cleared and prepared the grid tomorrow, smarter and more responsive by incorporating a strong photovoltaic generation, storage units and communicating devices.
Enedis, the main French DSO, coordinated this project in the city of Carros, with nine partners EDF, GE Grid Solutions, SAFT, RTE, ARMINES, SOCOMEC, NKE, NETSEENERGY and DAIKIN. NICE GRID is the French demonstrator of the European project GRID4EU.
Like the Alpes-Maritimes department, the city of Carros, on the territory of the Metropolis Nice Côte d'Azur has significant renewable capacity, including solar PV energy (2.5 MWp). Another characteristic of this city of 11,500 inhabitants: it includes several types of district (residential, industrial, commercial), a selection criterion for the experiments of the NICE GRID project. Carros also includes the largest industrial area of the department, with 550 companies on 188 ha.
The project started in 2011 and is ending in 2016. Late 2013, the installation phase for equipments started. During three years (2013-21016), more than 10 experiments (photovoltaic integration, peak demand reduction and islanding) have been conducted.
In total 30 million euros have been invested in NICE GRID, € 19 million by the consortium members, and € 11 million from National and European public support. Certified and funded by the French program “Investissements d’Avenir” amounting to € 4 million with the support of ADEME, the demonstrator also received support from the European Commission through the project Grid4EU (€ 7 million).
Participating consumers were very committed and diversified, 300 household, 12 business clients, and the town of Carros. They are the true trademark of the demonstrator NICE GRID.
The four use cases of the project were:
• Optimize the operation of an electricity distribution network by integrating a high generation from photovoltaic panels, and using electricity storage in batteries at strategic points in the network and at customer premises
• Reduce peak electricity demand at the city level by combining clients and storage contribution
• Study and test the operation of an autonomous consumer area, for a limited duration of time, isolated from the main network and with its own means of photovoltaic generation and storage: it is islanding.
• Give the consumer an active role through the steering of its balance production-consumption-storage (“prosumer”)