The EDF Group invests in the start-up ECOSUN Innovations and strengthens its microgrid offer

EDF Renewables, the EDF Group’s specialist wind and solar power subsidiary, is partnering with ECOSUN Innovations and taking a 29% stake in the company. This French start-up, based in Alsace, develops innovative ‘microgrid’ solutions to provide electricity in remote areas. Most notably, ECOSUN Innovations sells a range of solar systems in mobile containers fitted with battery storage.

The Mobil-Watt® container is equipped with between 9 and 52 kWp of solar panels and gel or lithium batteries in order to provide power for a number of hours after sunset. This mobile solution just needs to be unfolded and plugged in. Very easy to use, it requires no civil engineering works or skilled labour to be deployed.

The ECOSUN Innovations product range also includes containerised solutions whether semi-mobile (Mobil-Grid®) or stationary (Fix-Watt®), generating between 9 and 144kWp, for power suppliers, industry, farming, retail and commercial applications that are off-grid or served by lower quality grids. These installations reduce power bills and carbon emissions by replacing diesel generators with self-generated solar power. They are particularly well-suited for remote villages, hotels, site camps, clinics, fuel stations, pumping stations, irrigation plants and water treatment facilities.

Taking the form of capital increase in favour of EDF Renewables, this investment will allow ECOSUN innovations to step up the pace of its development. Already active in Africa, the Caribbean and South America, ECOSUN Innovations has ambitions to expand into the Middle East, South East Asia and then Australia.

EDF currently operates 27 microgrids of between 10 kW and 10 MW mainly in remote areas. The Group has built up significant expertise in this field over a number of years, notably through its Research and Development department, which introduced the MASERA microgrid demonstrator in Singapore in 2018, foreshadowing solutions for non-interconnected areas in South East Asia.

This partnership also forms part of the EDF Group’s Cap 2030 strategy, which aims to double its global renewable capacity between 2015 and 2030, taking it to a net 50 GW. In addition it contributes to EDF’s Electricity Storage Plan to develop 10 GW in new electricity storage resources globally by 2035.

Bruno Bensasson, EDF Group Senior Executive Vice-President Renewable Energies, and Chairman-CEO of EDF Renewables, commented: “We are delighted to seal this strategic partnership between EDF Renewables and ECOSUN Innovations, whose facilities  particularly in emerging and least developed countries, give local authorities and businesses in remote areas access to low-carbon electricity. This investment reflects the EDF Group’s ambition to expand its microgrid offerings and to provide innovative solutions that balance global preservation and development.”. 

Frédéric Rohmer, Chairman of ECOSUN Innovations, added: “ECOSUN Innovations develops and markets a range of plug-and-play solar solutions for off-grid, hybrid and mobile applications up to 1 MWp capacity. Within a few years, our range has become the largest and most innovative in the market. We are very proud of this cooperation with EDF Renewables, which will allow us to step up our industrial and commercial expansion still further and to increase the competitiveness of our products and their geographical reach.”.