Energy distribution firm EDF Energy, a wholly owned company of French state owned Électricité de France, announced on March 27 that it is going to invest €8 billion ($10 billion) in deploying 10GW of storage globally by 2035.
The investment is on top of the 5GW of storage already operated by the group, which has interests in storage technology applications including batteries and pumped-storage hydroelectricity.
The EDF Group is also doubling investment in research and development into storage for the power system to €70 million up to 2020.
The group also announced Nouveaux Business — the innovation and competition services company it created last September — will be allocating a third of its investments, around €15 million, in the next two years to projects and start-ups linked to electricity storage and flexibility.
The group aims to become the leader in the residential storage sector in France and Europe with a range of self-consumption power services incorporating batteries.
It is also prioritizing Africa with the goal of developing a portfolio of 1.2 million off-grid customers by 2035 through local partnerships.
Jean-Bernard Lévy, EDF’s CEO and chairman, said electricity storage technologies had the potential to radically change the energy sector. “The new limit the group is setting is a 100% carbon-free power system by 2050.”
In 2016 EDF Renewables, the renewables section of EDF, won a 49MW storage tender (at £7 ($10)/MW/hour) in the UK transmission operator National Grid’s Enhanced Frequency Tender.
Italian firm Nidec was contracted to build the battery for the project at West Burton Combined Cycle Gas power station in Nottinghamshire.
In total, eight projects totalling £66 million were chosen from 37 bidders for 64 sites, of which 62 were for batteries, two for DSR aggregation and one for thermal generation.
The other tender winners were: lead acid battery manufacturer Belectric (10MW), energy investor Low Carbon (which won two contracts totalling 50MW), RES (35MW), Eon UK (10MW), Element Power (25MW) and Vattenfall (22MW).