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SuperGrid Institute will be funded to the tune of €86.6 million by the French state

Published on December 1, 2014
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Communique

The institute will develop the future electrical network with the expected creation of several thousand jobs in France in the coming years.

SuperGrid Institute will be funded to the tune of €86.6 million by the French state

SuperGrid Institute will be funded to the tune of €86.6 million by the French state

The European Commission approves the aid of €86.6 million proposed by the French state as part of the future investment programme to fund the Institut pour la Transition Energétique (ITE) ‘SuperGrid Institute’.

After getting approval for the project in March 2012, the ITE SuperGrid Institute, headquartered in Villeurbanne near Lyon, was created in January 2014 by twelve shareholders from the electricity sector in France, which included companies and academic partners in the spirit of scientific collaboration. The mission of this institute is part of a large research project on technologies for future transport networks and mass storage of electric power that will improve energy management and favour renewable energy integration.

The research programmes conducted in the frame of the SuperGrid Institute gather together partners with complementary expertise including: the industrial companies Alstom, Nexans, RTE, EDF, Vettiner (Lyon), Ion Beam Services (Aix-en-Provence), Novasic (Chambéry), the public institutions: Ecole Centrale Lyon, INSA Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Grenoble Institute of Technology, Supelec and the Université Paris Sud Orsay, together with Laboratoire Ampère (Lyon), CREMHyG (Grenoble), Laboratoire de Génie Electrique de Grenoble and Laboratoire Signaux and Systems (Gif-sur-Yvette).

The institute will have several testing platforms in France that will support five research programmes on high voltage AC and DC, and energy storage. The innovations and market opportunities will improve both the efficiency of power transmission over long distances, and contribute to the creation and management of electrical mesh networks integrating renewable energy. The institute will also develop related activities in the areas of rail traction chains, hydraulic pumps and turbines, and electric storage technologies.

The Supergrid is a system for transmitting electricity that can deliver energy from renewable sources, partly located in the sea, on a large-scale basis to the centres where it is consumed. To route very high power (of the order of several gigawatts) over distances of up to several thousand kilometres, the Supergrid will primarily use ultra-high-voltage direct current (up to 1 million volts). The development of technology based on power electronics and modular storage means will make it possible to manage the intermittent nature of renewable energy and to ensure the stability and safety of the grid.

Philippe Auriol, Chairman of SuperGrid Institute, said, "Financial support from the French state is essential to the implementation of this ambitious project for the Institute and its partners; it will provide operators with the most modern power grid solutions, thereby contributing to the globalisation of energy infrastructure."

The market for electricity transmission networks covered by the SuperGrid Institute is over €15 billion per year over the next 20 years, plus related markets for rail traction chains and hydroelectric pumping stations, which represent more than €7 billion per year.

* ITEs (Instituts pour la Transition Energétique) support forward-looking energy and climate sectors. They bring together expertise from the industry and public research as part of public-private joint investment and collaboration to strengthen the ecosystem formed by clusters.



Press Contact :

Jean-François Ballet – General Manager, SuperGrid Institute

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Date of update December 1, 2014

Univ. Grenoble Alpes