French energy giant EDF has acquired a 29% share in compatriot microgrid specialist Ecosun Innovations. The utility said the Alsace start-up specializes in the supply of small solar plants in mobile containers equipped with storage batteries. The ‘Mobil-Watt' container is equipped with 9-52 kWp of photovoltaic panels plus gel or lithium-ion batteries which make it possible to extend the supply of electricity several hours after sunset.
Ecosun describes the product as mobile, deployable and ‘plug-and-play', and claims no civil engineering work or qualified labor of any kind is required to deploy the systems.
The start-up also offers ‘semi-mobile' (Mobil-Grid) and stationary (Fix-Watt) containerized solutions with 9-144 kWp capacities, intended for energy, industrial, agricultural, commercial and tertiary customers, for use off-grid or connected to weak electricity networks. The installations reduce energy bills and carbon emissions by substituting solar for diesel generators.
EDF said its investment in the company, via the utility's EDF Renouvelables arm, will enable Ecosun Innovations to accelerate its development. Already present in Africa, the Caribbean and South America, the start-up aims to expand into the Middle East, Southeast Asia and eventually Australia, said EDF.
The French power company operates 27 microgrids ranging in size from 10 kW to 10 MW, mainly on islands. EDF commissioned the MASERA microgrid demonstrator in Singapore in 2018, a project it described as a benchmark for non-interconnected territories in Southeast Asia.
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