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CNR is involved in innovative collaborative projects

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CNR forges numerous RID partnerships with industrial companies, research laboratories, universities, engineering schools and innovative start-ups. These partnerships lead to its involvement in a wide range of collaborative and innovative projects.

CNR, a partner of INSA Lyon, EM Lyon, the CEA and more

Since 2018, CNR has been involved in a strategic partnership with INSA Lyon on the theme of monitoring and operating hydroelectric installations. Signed for 5 years, this partnership provides in particular for two PhD theses on the fatigue, ageing and monitoring of CNR’s facilities.

CNR has also signed a three-year partnership with EM Lyon regarding green and territorial marketing in view to developing innovative offers of green electricity supplies and services in the industrial and port zones it manages along the Rhone.

A strategic 4-year partnership has been signed with the CEA. It is aimed at developing innovative projects linked to renewable electricity production management, the management of consumption and storage resources and projects to produce solar power along the dikes of the Rhone.

Renewable hydrogen production by water electrolysis

CNR is studying an industrial demonstrator designed to produce renewable hydrogen by water electrolysis with a capacity of several Megawatts. This plant will be supplied by renewable electricity produced by the hydropower plant of Pierre-Bénite (Rhone). A territorial project, it will complete an ecosystem now being put together.

The renewable hydrogen produced will serve in particular to:

  • supply several charging points for electric – hydrogen vehicles in the city of Lyon;
  • assist the development of the distribution capacity of the multigreen energy station of Quai des Energies (Port de Lyon), to satisfy the growing demand for land and river mobility;
  • supply industrial companies in the Chemical Corridor, to replace the grey hydrogen obtained from natural gas.

What are its advantages?

  • It improves air quality with the development of zero-emission electric-hydrogen mobility,
  • It uses hydrogen for green rather than industrial purposes,
  • It can be used to store renewable electricity in gas form (Power-to-Gas).

The rest of the hydrogen production will be injected into the gas transport network of GRT Gaz located close to the production site, to be stored and then mixed with natural gas for future use.

Linear photovoltaic installations: an innovative project in Isère

The CNR manages 400 km of dikes along the Rhone, a considerable length. This provides it with the opportunity to develop “long photovoltaic arrays”, a project that will benefit the territories with renewable energy. The winning project of the “Solaire Innovant” call for offers launched by the Energy Regulation Commission (CRE), its innovative nature resides in the fact that it uses land already serving to provide another use.

The first demonstrator was installed on a section of dike at Sablons (Isère), along the headrace canal of CNR’s development scheme of Péage-de-Roussillon. It will permit studying the technology’s feasibility and profitability, before considering deployment on a larger scale, along dikes, roads and railways, in the form of noise abatement walls, or guard rails.

Agri-PV in support of the agriculture sector

In the framework of CNR’s innovations, the company is also testing agri-photovoltaic panels: this comprises pilot solar electricity production projects intended to provide added value to the agricultural sector. The installation of solar panels on cultivated fields could have several benefits in the framework of climate change:

  • limiting the hydric stress of plants and recourse to irrigation, thanks to the shade provided by the panels which limit exposure to the sun and excessive heat,
  • protect part of the harvest in case of frost with nets stretched between the panel supports.

Partnership for purchasing electricity through local circuits

CNR is developing renewable production plants at the scale of the territories, by way of partnerships. The appropriation of energy issues by local authorities and the community in the framework of energy transition is leading to growth in the demand for renewable energy and a concomitant demand for traceability.

The electricity must be of renewable origin, local and from a known source.

To respond to this demand, CNR has joined with Ilek, a supplier of green and local energy. This partnership allows consumers, especially those in the Rhone Valley, to purchase their electricity directly from CNR’s plants at Bollène, Avignon and Beaucaire. After the experimental period of one year, more than 10,000 people chose CNR as their producer on Ilek’s platform.

CNR could develop the offer with Ilek when commissioning new wind farms and solar power plants, to respond locally to expectations of the territories in which the wind farms and solar power plants are developed.

Artificial intelligence in the service of energy consumption

Flexible energy consumption is one of the innovations required for energy transition. Alongside storage and managing production resources, it is a link vital for facilitating the integration of intermittent energies in the electricity grid. CNR, which develops and manages only these types of energy, understands this well. CNR is turning towards dynamic demand management by entering into the capital of BeeBryte, a company specialised in artificial intelligence applied to energy consumption, and by providing BeeBryte with its expertise of the market.

Its association with the Lyon start-up makes it possible to make an original B to B offer in France for 100% green and smart electricity. This acquisition of share capital was completed by the signature of a sales agreement lasting 5 years for the exclusive supply of Beebryte with CNR’s electricity.

Wind, sun, water: wonderful sources of energy … but oh so intermittent!

CNR’s innovation in the service of managing intermittence is being developed according to two main orientations: intermittence forecasting, and the smart management of intermittent energy systems.

Regarding the prediction of production fluctuations, CNR is developing short and very short-term forecasts. The ImagiNE project, carried out in collaboration with the start-up Tenevia, aims, for example, to predict the intermittence of solar power plants by observing the sky in real time with a camera system. By analysing the sequence of images recorded, the system identifies the movement of the clouds in order to predict their passage in front of the sun and the impact on energy production.

The aim of these forecasts is to supply smart energy management systems, capable of ensuring the combined management of multi-energy systems that combine intermittent renewable production, modulable hydropower production, storage facilities and demand management. In this case CNR’s innovation, in association with different research institutes, is focused on the development of stochastic optimisation methods that take into account the uncertainty of forecasts in the optimisation of multi-energy management.

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