ERDF And Schneider Electric Consolidate Their Smart Grid Partnership

By developing a flexibility management system for the grid, ERDF and Schneider Electric demonstrate their commitment to the growth of smart grids.
Published: Thu 06 Nov 2014

As part of a partnership launched over a year ago, ERDF and Schneider Electric have joined forces to develop and test innovative software and solutions for medium and low voltage grid management. The solutions would be used to design and monitor substations of the future and to facilitate the increase in renewable generation.

Tackling renewable energy integration

The increasing integration of variable renewable energies, in addition to load management initiated by external operators, will have a major technical impact on grid operations, resulting in additional costs of energy transmission and distribution infrastructure.

ERDF has opted to source new information and active resource management technologies which will help meet the requirements of managing both supply-demand balancing and network capacity.

This technology will enable external operators to control such resources whilst giving ERDF unprecedented visibility of this flexibility, allowing them to adjust the distribution network accordingly and make the grid more reliable.

These flexibility resources come from small-scale decentralised production facilities (<10MW) connected directly to the distribution network (e.g. wind or solar energy), from electricity storage, but also load management activities initiated by external operators. Such resources are aggregated to provide the necessary power to meet demand.

Smart grid project collaboration

ERDF and Schneider Electric already collaborate in a number of smart grid projects (such as the Venteea and IssyGrid smart grid projects) and will strengthen their cooperation with this flexibility application for distribution network operators (ERDF, public electricity companies, etc.), through its implementation in Lyon, as part of the Greenlys project which aims to improve the performance and agility of the grid.

The proposed distributed resources monitoring application “StruxureWare Flexible Resources Operation” will:

• precisely identify all the distributed resources on the network down to the low voltage grid;

• technically qualify market offers to use these distributed resources on energy, on balancing or on

capacity markets to avoid technical problems when activated by external operators;

• optimise operating and investment costs at network level, through the active management of distributed resources as an alternative to traditional network reinforcement solutions.

StruxureWare Flexible Resources Operation will be rolled out by the end of 2014 and operated by ERDF in Lyon.

Project to support load management and improve service levels

"As a world leader in energy management for Utilities and Infrastructures as well as for Industry, Buildings and Residential market segments, Schneider Electric is committed to developing smart grids, and aims at strengthening its broad range of services with software and systems for grid operation and Distributed Energy Resource Management Systems (DERMS)", says Frédéric Abbal, Executive Vice President Energy Division of Schneider Electric. "This project illustrates the relevance of our solutions for all energy market players, distribution operators in particular."

Philippe Monloubou, Chairman of the ERDF Board says: "By continuing to upgrade and automate the grid, particularly at lower voltages, will encourage renewable energy development whilst boosting service quality. It is thanks to close relationships with our partners, such as Schneider Electric, that we have succeeded in demonstrating the effectiveness of smart grids for the benefit of customers and the French industrial sector as a whole. This latest milestone enables ERDF to equip itself with tools to support load management whilst strengthening its quality of services".

The solutions developed under this partnership will enable ERDF and Schneider Electric to consolidate their commitment and expertise to develop smart grids both in France and abroad.