The rise of renewable energies
Since around 2005, electricity production using renewable energies has seen major growth in France.
Most connection requests are for solar power installations with low output less than 3 kW, which corresponds to approximately 25m2 of solar panels. While fewer in number, requests for the connection of more powerful installations (>36kVA) are rapidly increasing.
Strengthening the network
To receive the energy produced by installations of >36kVA power, the distribution network must be extended and often reinforced. Such adaptations are in fact essential to enable electricity to flow in both directions. To this end, ERDF is working with RTE, the electricity transmission network manager (very high voltage).
When several such installations in the same area make connection requests, the network's capacity must be reinforced in order to receive the energy produced. In these cases, ERDF and RTE must create substations to extend and bolster the network.
In addition, ERDF and RTE are carrying out studies to help anticipate the development of >36kVA power installations in each area. The objectives are to facilitate network reinforcement planning and identify and raise awareness among people likely to be affected (professional unions, administration services, etc.)
To reduce the time it takes to handle connection requests, ERDF is working on simplifying its procedures. This is being carried out in partnership with electricity producers' associations for small installations (<36kVA). Lead times were reduced on average from 8 to 4 months.