Saint-Denis, Reunion and Paris, France --- (METERING.COM) --- July 14, 2010 - As part of a project to develop renewable energies and meet the growing demand for electricity capacity in Reunion, EDF has inaugurated a high capacity electricity storage battery at Saint-André as well as the extension of the Rivière de l’Est hydroelectric installations at Sainte-Rose.

The 1 MW electricity storage battery, which to date has no equivalent in  Europe, is an experimental installation making it possible to restore 1 MW of power for seven hours, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions by reducing reliance on generation using fossil fuels. Using a sodium-sulphur (NaS) electrochemical process, this technology boosts the integration of intermittent renewable energies into the grid.

Starting in 2010, EDF also plans to develop a smart grid prototype in Reunion, as well as in Guadeloupe and Corsica, subject to funding becoming available through the French Agency for the Environment and Energy Management, ADEME. If successful, the program, starting in October, will include the installation of systems combining combine solar cells, batteries and energy controllers in the homes of some customers, and fitting “energy boxes” in the homes of other customers to enable them to monitor their electricity consumption in real time and thereby to optimize it.

In turning island systems into territories for innovation, EDF is contributing both to preparing for their energy future and blazing a trail for progress in continental networks, the company said in a statement.