This is the massive electricity storage project that France has put aside

Redenat Step / Image: Access gallery of the future underground hydroelectric energy plant of the vitality revolution.

The operation of the pumped storage vitality switch station (STEP) at Redenat (Corrèze) was abruptly stopped in 1982. The project’s solely witness: two totally submerged tunnels that cease proper in the center of the mountain. For virtually 40 years, EDF has been ready for extra favorable insurance policies for large-scale electricity storage methods to revive it.

Storage methods are an enormous asset to the energy grid. They make it attainable to stabilize frequencies, keep away from blackouts, harvest variable era from wind and solar energy, and make nuclear energy crops extra worthwhile.

There are a number of methods to effectively retailer electricity: batteries, compressed air in an underground cavity and STEP (pumped storage vitality switch station), which comes below hydropower. The latter is the most generally used throughout the planet, because it permitsStoring very massive quantities of vitality over lengthy durations of time.

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France has 6 WWTPs for put in capability solely 5GW, i.e. 3.6% of the 139 GW of the nationwide energy era fleet. Among the new WWTP tasks, Redenaut (Courage) is the most profitable. Everything is prepared: the pitch is completely marked, The backside tank already existsTechnical options are outlined and the land is reserved and uninhabited.

Characteristics of the Redenat WWTP project

Power is put in 1,100 MW
drop peak 270 m
Storage capability (RE estimate) ~20GWh
Annual manufacturing 1,400 GWh
pumping move 109 m3/s
turbine move 130 m3/s
Upper Lake Volume (Total) 36 million m3
Upper Lake Volume (Useful) 32.6 million m3
Lake Superior space 300 hectares
The quantity of the lake is much less 187 million m3
Lake Superior tidal vary 21m (Winter) 3m (Summer)
Low lake tidal vary 5m (Winter) 1m (Summer)

A development web site abruptly closes

The web site started drilling in the early Eighties Two galleries of 700 m, from which the hydroelectric plant, a veritable underground cathedral and the pipes connecting the two lakes will likely be dug. But EDF, the project’s operator, abruptly stopped it in 1982.

The context was not favorable: low electricity prices at that time, the value of planning on a price range and asking questions Hydro Power Exemption On the “cascade” of the Dordogne dam.

In 40 years, nobody has been in a position or actually needed to restart Redenat STEP. Not even Francois HollandeFormer president of the departmental council of Corrèze who grew to become head of state, who however expressed his curiosity in the project.

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WWTP, a system that is not worthwhile sufficient?

When requested about this, EDF didn’t particularly touch upon the Redenat project. The National Energy Company merely defined that to us “The present regulatory framework and financial mannequin in mainland France is struggling to convey new WWTP tasks, particularly in the absence of Fixed compensation for flexibility. » Obviously, investing on this method of high-capacity electricity storage won’t be worthwhile sufficient in the absence of sufficient remuneration.

“Nevertheless, we’re making progress to make sure that a construction is match for goal Development of this storage and suppleness software As evidenced by the “local weather resilience” regulation of August 22, 2021, which introduces the chance of calling for tenders in assist of the improvement of storage. » signifies the operator.

According to native newspaper La Montagne, in 2008 EDF started sustaining the galleries by drying them out. However, at the time of our go to, these two tunnels have been fully submerged as much as the vault and subsequently inaccessible. In truth, they sink to a decrease stage in Lac du Chastang, forming the decrease reservoir of the future WWTP.

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