Renewable Energy Transition: Enedis alongside UPPA


Céline Vautrelle, regional director of Enedis in Pyrenees & Landes

Meeting with Céline Vautrelle, regional director of Enedis in Pyrenees & Landes. The national company which operates the public electricity distribution network is a faithful partner of the University of Pau and Pays de l’Adour in the field of renewable energy transition.

What is the benefit for Enedis to be associated with UPPA?

We are a national company, but we are very well rooted locally, with 25 sites and 839 employees who know this unique territory perfectly, which combines both rural and urban areas. Enedis in Pyrenees & Landes accompanies local actors and communities with their renewable energy transitions.

UPPA is of particular interest to us because we are located in the same geographical area and share common commitments to the energy transition. We have a natural interest in working together. UPPA brings us a complementary viewpoint, nourished by the research approach, posing prospective and drawing the challenges we will face tomorrow. In the field of law, UPPA's research work gives us a head start by anticipating, for example, the legislative framework for energy.

What is the framework of this collaboration?

We signed a partnership agreement in 2015 that was renewed in 2018. The agreement includes several purposes. It provides for the development of joint research areas related to the renewable energy transition. Enedis is also a founding member of the Pau Droit Energie Consortium, which brings together public and private players who are able to contribute to the debate and dynamics of the region from the perspective of the energy transition. Enedis is also a partner of the E2S UPPA MOVE Chair dedicated to the legal issues of sustainable mobility. The agreement also provides for cross-interventions, both from UPPA researchers in our departments and from Enedis professionals at the university in the form of occasional courses, seminars or case studies.

Finally, our collaboration includes a training component, which we wish to continue to develop. Every year, we welcome around 15 final-year students from ENSGTI for a day of discovery of the challenges of electricity distribution and smart grids, with a visit to the Regional Control Agency - our control tower for the region's electricity networks. This action, which has been in place for several years, unfortunately could not be carried out in 2020 in the context of the health crisis, but is still relevant today.

How do you reconcile the respective interests?

The encounter between the pragmatic viewpoint of Enedis and the academic approach of UPPA is enriching for everyone. Enedis is at the crossroads between customers and local authorities. Electric mobility depends on the ability to equip public spaces with charging stations and also on the ability of users to have charging stations in their homes. I'm thinking here of the real estate developers we support. Our job is to address needs in terms of solutions. As part of the MOVE Chair, for example, we provide our concrete experience in the field and share our data. In return, the UPPA researchers help us to analyze the dynamics, to better understand the expectations, to make our support solutions evolve. This confrontation and complementarity are precious and beneficial for everyone. Enedis needs UPPA's expertise as much as UPPA needs Enedis' experience.

We also share the same desire to develop innovations as closely as possible to the territories. For example, we are supporting the development of two young companies in the Helioparc technology park that won our Enedis Start-up competition: Atouts HSE and ST37. The solution developed, which will benefit from six months of experimentation, aims to identify dangerous situations thanks to an intelligent assistant, via video analysis, and to make our employees aware of the risks observed. It is important to stimulate a taste for innovation and initiative.

 

Contact : Enedis Pyrénées & Landes