iSTORMY Coffee break with Etienne Toutain from EDF

Get to know Etienne Toutain from EDF!

What was your original motivation to become a researcher/project manager?
My first motivation was to be part of a collaborative work at the European level. As a researcher, I strongly believe that we need to combine the intellectual resources together if we want to achieve the net zero target quickly enough. European projects are where things happen bringing together all stakeholder involved in the energy business.

What is your (main) research area today?
I am mainly focus on distributive smart grid solution deployment on the French grid. For example, we are replacing fuel generator by BESS for power outage and grid maintenance. This change does not come without any difficulties and the low voltage grid was not designed at the beginning for the integration of such power supply. Switching from mechanical synchronous generation to power electronic interface assets is my main field of work.

What is the main focus of your team in iSTORMY?
EDF is responsible for the test and demonstration of the HBESS on its smart grid lab called concept grid. Once integrated in our lab, we will perform three different use cases to challenge the performances of the prototype and validate the preliminary modelling work carried out in WP3.

Could you describe your favourite moment/satisfaction when working for the project and – more in general – for your organisation?
What I appreciate the most in this kind of environment is the hard but interesting process of bringing together different point of views around the table and trying to converge to a common idea. It shows that beyond our different background and interest, we can still find a common path for what’s coming.

How do you expect iSTORMY results will affect your organisation and the energy storage sector?
EDF is already operating several hundreds of MW of storage system around the world. To achieve LCOE lower and lower and with a large scope of grid services expected in the future, we expect that hybridization will be a way to achieve efficiently the challenge of storage in the near future. The results provided by iSTORMY will bring strong evidence of the benefits of this innovative architecture.

Which partner would you like to nominate next for this coffee break?