Akuo to deploy 200 MWh of battery storage in New Caledonia


From pv magazine France

French renewables developer Akuo has won a tender tio build a large-scale battery storage system in New Caledonia, a French overseas territory in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The giant battery is expected to be the largest storage facility in the region and also in France, with a planned storage capacity of 200 MWh.

The plant will be based on lithium-ion batteries and will be commissioned at the end of 2024. It will be able to deliver 50 MW of electricity to the network every day for three hours.

New Caledonian energy supplier Enercal will directly manage the facility.

“It’s a fairly common contract for storage,” Corentin Baschet, head of market research for Clean Horizon, told pv magazine. “This is very common in the United States, a bit like a rental contract, which is usually called a tolling agreement.”

In such contracts, a guaranteed power premium, paid annually, determines the price. Additionally, a variable cost premium is added to cover maintenance and operation, with the latter expected to be very low, according to Baschet, due to the minimal costs associated with storage infrastructure.

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“Whether the battery is used little or a lot, that does not change the price,” Baschet said.

However,  he added that the use of batteries is governed by the provisions of the contract – for example, with regard to the state of charge or the number of cycles.

The installation, located in the town of Boulouparis on the west coast of Grande Terre, will store electrical energy generated by PV plants during the day and release it at night.

In line with its recently adopted New Caledonia Energy Transition Plan in August 2023, New Caledonia aims to further promote the development of renewable energy and storage devices for integration into the network.

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