After embracing electric vehicles, Renault has also launched its own new energy subsidiary to develop energy storage and grid products.

The French automaker is now combining both efforts to help create a “smart electric island” with electric vehicles, V2G, and energy storage.

They are partnering with energy supplier Empresa de Electricidade da Madeira partner to “facilitate the energy transition” in Porto Santo island, Portugal.

The small island of ~5,000 residents is rolling out a program called “Sustainable Porto Santo – Smart Fossil Free Island” to get rid of all polluting source of energy.

Solar arrays and wind farms are already deployed on the island, but now they want to electrify the car fleet and add energy storage to the grid in order to maximize the use of the local renewable energy.

Renault’s role in the project will be to incorporate electric vehicles in the equation.

They describe the program in 3 phases:

  • First, 20 volunteer users in Porto Santo will drive 14 ZOEs and 6 Kangoo Z.E.s for their everyday use. These vehicles will be able to benefit from smart charging thanks to the 40 connected public and private charging points set up by EEM and Renault on the island.
  • Second, by the end of 2018, the vehicles will step up their interaction with the grid by providing it with electricity during peak hours. In addition to being smart charged, the electric vehicles will therefore also serve as temporary energy storage units.
  • Third, second-life batteries from Renault electric vehicles will be used to store the fluctuating supply of energy produced by Porto Santo’s solar and wind farms. Stored as soon as it is produced, this energy is recovered by the grid as and when needed to meet local demand. Some of these batteries come from Madeira Island. For the first time, Groupe Renault demonstrates real life re-employing of second-life batteries in a local ecosystem.

Renault has previously installed electric car charging stations powered by the same used EV battery packs.

Eric Feunteun, Electric Vehicles and New Business Programme Director at Renault, commented on the project:

“We are delighted to be teaming up with EEM and Madeira Regional Government today to establish this unprecedented smart electric ecosystem which demonstrates to what extent the electric revolution is changing our everyday lives beyond just transport. Our aim is to build a model that can be carried over to other islands, eco-districts and cities, while consistently striving to achieve large-scale rollout of electric mobility solutions that are affordable for all,”

Here’s an infographic about the project:

About the Author