A pioneering full-scale smart grid in the French municipalities of Lyon and Grenoble

Rising energy consumption and increased energy dependence in homes, businesses and services means that it is now necessary to be able to count on a reliable and robust power distribution system. And this is why Schneider Electric is taking part in the GreenLys project, France’s first full-scale smart grid. Together with the leading players in French energy sector, the company has developed two full-scale platforms in the cities of Lyon and Grenoble, involving 1,000 homes and 40 buildings in the project. The goal is to standardise and showcase a fully functional smart grid during 2015, paving the way for a widespread deployment.

The project is testing innovative solutions ranging from energy generation to its consumption. At grid level, this includes new analytical tools, latest generation substation automation equipment and communication via smart sensors installed in all areas of consumption. In addition the grid will incorporate renewables-based or natural gas energy generation as well as the capacity to use energy stored in electric vehicles.

A major contributor to this project is Schneider Electric who is equipping the smart grid with the ability to automatically reconfigure itself in the event of a power cut. This is the concept known as self-healing: the ability of the system to detect that it is not operating correctly and, without the need for human intervention, make the adjustments necessary to return to normal. As a result, the GreenLys project is secure and robust, minimising both cuts and their duration. In under 20 seconds, it is able to locate the incident, isolate it and reconnect consumers.

Article published in: FuturENERGY April 2015