STORAGE: AN INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT SOLUTION FOR THE ENERGY TRANSITION
To guarantee smooth, reliable operation, electric power systems require a range of ancillary services. Supply and demand must be balanced in real time to guarantee grid quality (maintaining a constant voltage and frequency for example), avoid damaging electric apparatuses and ensure continuous user supply.
All electric systems therefore require a certain degree of flexibility to give grid operators the necessary tools to rapidly restore the grid’s balance. With the growing share of renewable energies in grids, solar and wind power storage solutions are central to a new stage in the energy transition, providing services across the value chain of the electric power system.
Akuo has been active in the storage segment since 2014 following the commissioning of four first solar plants in Reunion Island and Corsica associated with 29 MWh of storage. These plants enable stable and continuous injection of electricity into the grid regardless of weather conditions. More than 35% of the island’s power is already renewable.
These initial successes has been followed by other projects developed for own account or for the account of third parties around the world. In Indonesia for the electrification of several villages not connected to the grid, in Mauritius and Martinique with the installation of batteries to provide services to the grid or in Union, in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, in New Caledonia and Tonga Islands associated with solar projects.
The group is also working on many projects in Africa and in Non-Interconnected Areas (ZNI). This concerns in particular rural electrification projects in Niger (2.9 MWh) and in Benin (6 MWh) dedicated to providing storage solutions to several villages coupled with renewable energy production.
In Non-Interconnected Areas, Akuo was awarded several projects in 2020 in Corsica, Guyana, Martinique, and Reunion Island and started construction of the Kwita Wije project in New Caledonia at the end of 2020. This is the third solar project developed by Akuo in New Caledonia which still depends more than 80% on fossil fuels for its energy production. The storage solution ensures better stability of the electricity network and provides renewable electricity in the evening between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., during peak consumption.