The D2GRIDS project aims to develop 5th generation district heating and cooling networks (5GDHC) in Europe. The 5GDHC grid of the Etablissement Public d'Aménagement de Paris-Saclay is a pilot site of the D2GRIDS project and benefits all the players on the Saclay plateau (Essonne region, France). The plateau will soon be equipped with a renewable source of electricity: 30% of the roof will be dedicated to the production of photovoltaic electricity. What are the challenges to this ambitious project and how was it implemented?
A program supported by SEQENS with strong environmental ambitions
SEQENS is one of the major social landlords in the Ile-de-France region, with a portfolio of 100,000 housing units, and is a real estate subsidiary of Action Logement. It has joined the project consortium as the project leader for the deployment of renewable electricity for the heating network of the Plateau de Saclay. SEQENS won, at the end of 2019, a tender launched by the Etablissement Public d'Aménagement de Paris-Saclay (EPAPS) for the construction of a program (181 social housing units and a medical center). 30% of its roof surface must be dedicated to the production of photovoltaic electricity.
SEQENS has shown its willingness to actively engage in the environmental transition and to provide solutions for the production and use of renewable energies through a solution that can be replicated on its new and refurbished buildings. It should generate savings on the energy consumption of the common areas and reduce rental charges and electricity bills.
SEQENS asked GreenFlex and LLC & Associés to study the different solutions for the valorisation of the renewable electricity that will be produced on the roof:
- Full connection: the entire production is connected to the electricity network and is purchased by EDF, which sells it to its own customers
- Individual self-consumption, in which the same person produces and consumes his own electricity
- Collective self-consumption, where the production of one or more power plants benefits several households or economic actors.
GreenFlex then presented an even more innovative opportunity to SEQENS: to develop collective self-consumption by allowing the Paris-Saclay heating and cooling network to benefit from part of this production and thus become a demonstrator for the extension of the D2Grids project.
A solution: connect to the 5th generation heating and cooling network of Paris-Saclay
This Urban Heating Network, a demonstrator of the D2Grids project, which supplies heat, domestic hot water and/or cooling to the players on the Saclay plateau, like the future SEQENS buildings, is based on a geothermal system, supplemented by heat pumps that run on electricity all day and all year round. SEQENS was convinced by this opportunity and joined the D2Grids consortium to study, partially finance and then implement the use of photovoltaic electricity in the heating network.
The technical-legal-economic feasibility study of the production and valorisation of photovoltaic electricity is currently being carried out and analysed:
- The potential for photovoltaic electricity production on the roofs of the future SEQENS buildings, estimated at more than 50,000 kWh/year,
- The possible distribution of the production between different consumers: the common parts of SEQENS, the housing of the buildings, the heat pumps of the heating network of the Etablissement Public d'Aménagement de Paris-Saclay (EPAPS),
- The opportunities, constraints, and legal solutions to set up a governance in the case of sharing the production between different actors,
- The economic balance of the different scenarios for SEQENS,
- The savings that the different scenarios of electricity valorisation could allow to SEQENS tenants.
This is a first in France that deserves to be an example because the model is beneficial for all:
- For the heating and cooling network, which will benefit from electricity of renewable energy
- For SEQENS, which takes part into an innovative territorial project and is providing its assets with a virtuous energy solution
- For the tenants of SEQENS, who will benefit from a reduction in their heating bill thanks to the sale of electricity from SEQENS to the EPAPS heating network.