Since 2016, a Corsican start-up has been busily supplying the most remote villages in Corsica with electricity, whilst making up for the sporadic supply of renewable energies.
The problem with villages at the end of the line
Today, the electricity grid is still not efficient enough for villages at the end of the line. This is particularly true in Corsica, where Stepsol is working on supplying electricity to the most remote villages on the ‘isle of beauty’, whilst compensating for the intermittence of renewable energies by providing mini-stations for storing energy.
During the day, solar panels power a village. The surplus electricity activates a pump that transports the water from a lower pool to a higher pool of the same proportions. When there is not enough photovoltaic production (night, bad weather…), the water flows back down to the lower pool, driving the turbines in the process, which in turn produce electricity. The water acts like a hydraulic battery and ensures that solar production on the island is both controlled and flexible.
Stepsol is offering a simple yet revolutionary technology, enabling these remote villages to become self-sufficient in electricity year-round with a capacity of 600kWh. The system can be replicated pretty much anywhere, supplying about ten households. Today, five Corsican villages have been equipped with a pumped hydro storage station.