Spotlight on Elise le Goff, project manager at CCIAG, Grenoble’s heating company

In general we tend to publish more on the technologies and processes of our City-zen innovations than about  the people behind them.  However those men and women are the ones we can often learn most from! What are their experiences and lessons learned? Therefore this time, we put the spotlight on Elise le Goff, project manager at CCIAG, Grenoble’s district heating company.

What are the projects you’re developing for City-zen ?

CCIAG is involved in three main projects. The first and most important one is the design and operation of an innovative low pressure (LP) loop of district heating, as an extension of the high pressure (HP) one. In the new residential area called “Flaubert” all heat and hot water for the new low consumption buildings – 350 apartments in total – will be provided thanks to the HP district heating. Even though the current district heating supply  is already 60% renewable, we want to test new solutions to improve this rate. So, the new extension will integrate new equipment and operation principles to realise the following objectives :

  • A local and integrated storage at high energy density
  • Integrated solar production to be coupled to the storage
  • The use of buildings as thermal storage
  • A smart control system for the best operating performance: balance load demand, reduced energy consumption and costs.

Start of earthmoving in the joint development zone “Flaubert” – december 2016

All this is supported by a research program by our partner CEA.

Secondly, the monitoring results will help us to optimize our own systems and to share our results with others. And finally the District Heating consumption is part of the Vivacité, platform of multi-energy monitoring .

What are/were the biggest challenges ? How did you solve these ?

The biggest challenge at this moment is to deal with the uncertainties linked to the urban development: the construction of the buildings and the construction of the District Heating loop have to be well coordinated.

Another challenge is to combine various sub-projects at the same time in a relevant way. Some are rather  experimental, often even the first demonstration at this scale. For example: phase change material storage, use of buildings as storage. We work hard to get everything built in time ánd with the best performance. We share lots of information and are very pleased with the help of such a good partner as CEA.

What are the expected impacts on cities and citizens ?

This new LP loop lets inhabitants lower their energy consumption, and use more renewable energy. The project will increase the number of homes attached to Grenoble District Heating, but also increase the rate of renewables in the district heating overall.

What would you advise others setting up a similar project ?

I guess all projects are different. What I learned is that it is essential that all stakeholders have the relevant information at the right time. The solution we are designing is innovative and sometimes it’s a moving target. At the same time we have to make it work in a real neighbourhood, with real inhabitants. We cannot fail to deliver heat to their homes! So both the technical skills and the coordination of the project are very important.

[How to get a better insight in the interests and planning of all energy stakeholders –  such as local governments, construction companies, network operators, (local) energy suppliers and citizens –when it comes to (clean) energy transition? Play the City-zen serious role playing game  GO2ZERO and get your strategy right!]

What does “new urban energy” mean to you ?

Developing local renewable energy and reducing energy consumption is an excellent way to optimize the central infrastructures: both for electricity and for heating. We know cities are becoming “smarter” and more “electrical”, for example for transport. For the heating of homes and tap water, district heating is an important means to limit pollution, energy consumption and to stabilise energy prices.


elise-le-goff2 Capture d’écran 2014-11-27 à 16.56.09

Elise Le Goff

Project manager and energy management

  • The Project

    A city operating entirely on clean energy. In theory, it's possible. But in real life? How to integrate new solutions in existing buildings, systems and people's lives? What are the technical, economic or social barriers? And how to overcome these? That's what we've learned by doing in 20 projects in Grenoble and Amsterdam.

  • Our Activities

  • Achieved Impacts

    • 20 innovations in Grenoble & Amsterdam
    • 35,000 tonnes CO2 saved per year
    • 76,000 m² renovated residential buildings
    • 10,000 dwellings connected to a Smart Grid