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La revue soGaz #5

West Grid Synergy

1stexperiment of the SMART GAS GRID for renewable gas in the region.

6 June 2017 - For the Smart Energies Expo, GRTgaz, GRDF, Soregies, Morbihan Énergies, SIEML (French Maine-et-Loire energy union), SYDEV (Vendée energy union), the Pays de la Loire region and the Brittany region announced the launch of two regional Smart Gas Grid demonstrators based on the integration of biomethane projects focussed on the same region. On the SMILE association stand, standing for Smart Ideas to Link Energies, the partners revealed the main themes of this group of innovative, multi-participant projects called West Grid Synergy, foreshadowing the gas network of the future. 

Présentation du projet smart grid - West Grid Synergy

Technologies d’avenir - données clés

A project strengthening the SMILE dynamic through a gas dimension

The aim of the SMILE project is to create a large intelligent energy grid in Western France. Winner of a nation call for projects under the heading New Industrial France and supported by the Pays de la Loire and Brittany regions, it aims to develop innovative tools and practical applications to promote energy transition.

The West Grid Synergy project faces up to the SMILE issues and brings a gas dimension to it. Its purpose is to maximise renewable gas production in the regions by facilitating its integration into gas grids. It is rolled out across two experimental regions as part of numerous projects: the first in Brittany across the Pontivy area in Morbihan, with at least four biomethane projects over three communities, and the second in Pays de la Loire with over ten biomethane projects spread mainly in Vendée and Maine-et-Loire.

A project accelerating the Smart Gas Grid innovation

Brittany and Pays de la Loire, with the SMILE ecosystem, offer an ideal region for these first regional Smart Gas Grid demonstrators of renewable gas. The biomethane injection projects in Brittany and Pays de la Loire already exceed consumer needs for local public distribution systems over certain periods of the year. A group of participants brought together in the West Grid Synergy project was therefore mobilised to dream up innovative solutions combining digital and energy technologies to maximise biomethane production, develop new efficient uses of gas and optimise overall management of the energy system.

First two reverse installations at Pontivy (Morbihan) and Pouzauges (Vendée)

These solutions resulted in the development of pilot 'reverse' installations at the interface between the distribution grid and the transport grid. While the gas grid usually operates in one direction, with gas flows going from transport grids towards distribution networks, a 'reverse' facility allows flows in the opposite direction. Thus, the grid becomes bidirectional. This intelligent station is used to tests novel network configurations by organising flows and storage of biomethane produced locally when supply is greater than demand.

The first two pilot installations will be located in the Pontivy area in Morbihan and at Pouzauges in Vendée. 

The two experimental areas also constitute laboratories to define procedures for adapting and operating the grid of the future. The dynamics of these two projects will enable various industrial companies to benefit from the advantages of gas and gas mobility in their growth. Thus, in Pays de Mauges (Maine-et-Loire), about thirty grid kilometres are going to be created to accommodate the production from three biomethane projects and to enable an industrial company to benefit from natural gas.