European electric-carmaker Renault plans to build the continent's largest stationary battery storage network next year using old electric-car batteries.
Renault announced on Tuesday that it will install used (and some new) electric car batteries in three locations: two Renault factories in France, and the site of a former coal-fired power plant in Germany.
The company says the battery storage network will be expanded gradually over time.
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By 2020, Renault says the network will deliver 70 megawatts of power and store at least 60 megawatt-hours of energy storage to smooth out supply from solar and wind power to make them available at peak times when consumers need it.
The stationary battery storage network will use batteries from 2,000 of the company's European electric cars—the Renault Zoe and Twingo and the Nissan Leaf, among others—built into containers.
The network will comprise used batteries from the cars as well as some new electric-car batteries that have been inventoried as replacement packs for older models but never sold.
Renault Zoe and Kangoo ZE electric cars on the Outer Hebrides
Inside the containers, the batteries will be installed on racks. Each container will also include charge controllers and battery monitoring systems.
Once built, the batteries will provide enough power for 5,000 homes.
The system is designed to target a weak spot in the grid, where power consumption exceeding supply has often compromised the stability of the grid.
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“One of the main challenges when it comes to increasing the share of renewable sources in the energy mix is to manage the discrepancies between electricity consumption and electricity production at a given moment,” Nicolas Schottey, Renault’s director of new energy business, said in a statement.
“Our energy stationary storage system solution helps to compensate for those gaps: it delivers its energy reserves at the exact moment an imbalance occurs in order to mitigate its effects,” he said.
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The system was originally planned to be even bigger, with up to 100 megawatts of storage, but Renault alludes to potential future expansion under the existing plan.
Renault says its goal is to create Europe's largest stationary energy storage system to encourage the growth of renewable energy sources on the grid.
The network will be operated by Renault partner Mobility House.