12 partners unite to create a thermal solar micro-plant for people at the base of the pyramid
Rueil-Malmaison (France), April 27, 2010 - Schneider Electric announces today the launch of the MiCST collaborative project, aiming to generate electricity produced by solar energy through an innovative process, in partnership with 11 French organisations.
The MiCST¹ project consists in designing and manufacturing an innovative solar plant, using sunlight to heat an energy supply powering a thermodynamic machine able to drive an alternator that produces ten electrical kilowatts. This solution shall be designed to provide energy to off-grid areas. It will be particularly destined to meet the needs of developing countries with strong sunlight. Simple to install and to maintain, this solution is expected to be easily adopted by local engineers. The major technical and technological challenges are the necessity to take in consideration rigorous criteria of robustness, cost reduction and eco-design.
The 42-months-project coordinates the expertise of 12 partners, from industry and research. The project is supported by the French Agency for the Environment and Energy Management (ADEME). As the leader of this project, Schneider Electric has joined forces with the Institut National de l'Energie Solaire (CEA/INES), Exosun, Sophia-Antipolis Energie Développement, Barriquand Technologies Thermiques, Défi Systèmes, Stiral, Mecachrome France, the Laboratoire d'Energétique Mécanique Electromagnétisme (Université Paris Ouest), the Laboratoire d'Energétique et de Mécanique Théorique et Appliquée Nancy, Cedrat Technologie and the G2ELab. The federation of these players forms a national momentum, benefiting of high R&D competences in thermal solar energy.
"Through the MiCST project, Schneider Electric reaffirms its ambition to contribute to energy access for the 1.6 billion people worldwide who are still excluded, by the means of renewable energies, explains Gilles Vermot Desroches, Senior Vice President Sustainable Development, Schneider Electric. By designing a solid solar station, that has the capacity to reduce costs and that is environment friendly, we will help the disadvantaged communities in their development".
The MiCST Project is part of the Schneider Electric's global sustainable programme called BipBop (Business, Innovation & People at hte base of the pyramid), with the goal of responding to the needs and requirements of people at the base of the pyramid by offering adapted solutions, developing training in electrical careers and helping entrepreneurs to set up their business around access to energy.
¹ MicroCentrale Solaire Thermodynamique : Thermal Solar Micro-Plant
About Schneider Electric
As a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, Schneider Electric offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leadership positions in energy and infrastructure, industrial processes, building automation, and data centres/networks, as well as a broad presence in residential applications. Focused on making energy safe, reliable, and efficient, the company's 100,000 plus employees achieved sales of 15.8 billion euros in 2009, through an active commitment to help individuals and organizations “Make the most of their energy.”