Sweetch Energy to optimize its unique zero-carbon electricity generation technology using turnkey process control platform from Rockwell Automation

Sweetch Energy to optimize its unique zero-carbon electricity generation technology using turnkey process control platform from Rockwell Automation

 

French renewables startup to leverage extensive domain expertise and global presence to help scale its osmotic power generation technology for the first time

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Rockwell Automation, the world’s largest company dedicated to industrial automation and digital transformation, today announced that it will support the automation of Sweetch Energy’s unique power generation technology through the deployment of a process control system and remote operations visualization.

 

Sweetch Energy’s first osmotic demonstrator plant is currently under construction and will soon be operational at the Barcarin lock in Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône, France. The company plans to deploy several osmotic stations at the mouth of the Rhône to harness natural osmotic energy. These stations will represent up to 500 MW of carbon-free electricity production capacity, capable of supplying more than 1.5 million people – the equivalent to the population of cities such as Marseille and its surrounding areas, Barcelona, Amsterdam or Montreal.

 

“Sweetch Energy mirrors our own deep commitment to sustainability and the development of enabling technologies,” said Eric Chalengeas, regional vice president, south region, Rockwell Automation. “We are delighted that our process solutions, visualization technology and domain expertise are being deployed in such a fascinating project. As well as helping Sweetch Energy scale and enhance its technology, our global presence will also help it expand into other regions, where we can continue to offer comprehensive global service and support.”

 

Osmotic energy is naturally generated by the difference in salinity between freshwater and seawater. The INOD (Ionic Nano Osmotic Diffusion) technology developed by Sweetch Energy is the first technology of its kind to be marketed on an industrial scale.

 

Manufactured using environmentally friendly bio-sourced materials, the osmotic generators using the technology can be located at any estuary or delta. Water is the only input in the process and is fully returned to the river mouth, with no chemical waste or pollutants created. And, unlike other renewables, it is not dependent on weather conditions and can produce clean electricity continuously. The technology can also be incorporated into locally sympathetic structures, hidden away, or even installed underground.

 

Rockwell’s technologies will be used to automate, control, and monitor the system as well as optimize the process and power-generation efficiency. The technology to be deployed at the pilot plant is also highly scalable, allowing Sweetch Energy to create standardized, modular, with worldwide support for installations of any size anywhere.

 

Nicolas Heuzé, co-founder and CEO of Sweetch Energy, explains: “Our INOD technology is addressing the challenge of producing clean, competitively priced electricity that’s available 24/7. Thanks to INOD, osmotic energy will become a main component of the global energy mix. Rockwell’s expertise in process control, sustainability, and its global reach makes it an excellent partner for Sweetch Energy as we initiate the international rollout of our operations, starting with the U.S. this summer.”


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