The French energy firm ENGIE has announced their plans to create a new eco-friendly head office. The building will also showcase the zero carbon solutions they offer.
The project is being developed with another French firm, Nexity, specialists in real estate development and provision of related services. The site of the eco-friendly office is located in La Garenne Colombes, a northwestern suburb of Paris.
It is currently set to be operational by 2023 and could be a model followed by many UK-based firms.
Utility Firm Harnessing Their Own Clean Energy Technology
Integrated technologies will include the Smart Grid, solar panels and energy storage batteries to harness any excess energy they generate. They will also incorporate renewable natural gas such as biomethane and blockchain technologies. Geothermal energy will also help by providing most of the heating and cooling needs of the building.
The Deputy Chief Executive Officer of ENGIE, Pierre Deheunynck, said: “This project will showcase the ENGIE Group’s zero carbon strategy. Designed to be an inclusive living space, an extension of the city and open to residents, this eco-site will be a prototype for smart cities of the future.
“It will also accelerate ENGIE’s employee culture collaboration, inclusiveness and interaction with the outside world.”
How the Smart Grid Works
The Grid itself is the electric grid which consists of an intricate network of transmission lines, substations and transformers. They deliver electricity generated at a power plant to homes and business premises. They are the conduit of power whenever you use an item powered by electricity.
The Smart Grid uses digital technology that enables two-way communication between the utility firm and its customers. The transmission lines have sensors integrated into them, which is essentially what makes the Grid ‘smart’.
The Smart Grid will have a system of computerised controls as well as various levels of automation. They can adapt and incorporate new technologies and equipment to respond digitally (and thus quickly) to evolving energy needs.
Benefits of a Fully Integrated Smart Grid
Eventually, a fully integrated Smart Grid will have much more efficient transmission of electricity. It will have significantly faster restoration of electricity after any power outages. Costs for utility companies will also be reduced as a Smart Grid will necessitate reduced operations and management requirements. This should in turn lower the energy bills of consumers.
Additional benefits of a Smart Grid include reduced peak demand, which again should help decrease electricity rates. There should also be improved security and better integration of customer-owned power generation systems such as solar panels.
Transitioning from a standard Grid to a Smart Grid requires a lot of necessary testing of the new integrated technologies. There also needs to be adequate consumer education, as well as vigilant development of standards and regulations.
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