French engineering companies Areva and Schneider Electric have signed a strategic partnership agreement to develop energy management and storage solutions based on hydrogen fuel cell technology.
Both companies will combine their expertise to design and propose energy storage solutions that guarantee the reliability of electrical grids for isolated sites and areas where access to power is limited.
Areva will bring to the deal its Greenergy Box energy storage solution, which is made with an electrolyzer and fuel cell. It is used to store hydrogen and oxygen from water electrolysis during periods of low energy demand in order to produce electricity during peak consumption periods.
Greenergy Box (pictured) is already operational in Corsica, where it is connected to a 560 kW photovoltaic solar power plant on the MYRTE demonstration platform. Areva says it will also be soon connected to 35 kW peak power photovoltaic panels installed in La Croix Valmer in southern France.
Schneider Electric hopes the pact with Areva will help it “to achieve grid parity for renewable energies while managing their intermittency and optimising network connection”.
Frederic Abbal of Schneider Electric’s Energy Business said: “This agreement will create a robust commercial partnership for deploying an innovative solution in energy storage. Areva will capitalize on the international presence of Schneider Electric.”
Louis-François Durret, chief executive of Areva Renewables, added that the deal “will place both companies as first-of-its-kind players in this promising market”.