In 2017, six so-called InterFlex projects were launched in five European countries to explore flexible solutions for smart energy distribution grids. Energico was presented with the opportunity to collaborate in one of these projects, initiated by Enexis Netbeheer, research center TNO and knowledge and innovation center ElaadNL.
“InterFlex was an international project co-funded by an EU research and innovation program, to investigate the use of local flexibility to relieve distribution grid constraints”, says DSO Architect and Innovation Manager Daphne Geelen, who managed the project in the Netherlands on behalf of Enexis Netbeheer.
“We are in the middle of the energy transition, with more sustainable energy generation on one hand and more electrification of energy demand on the other. That makes it increasingly important to properly coordinate supply and demand. This is already happening in the energy markets, but as a grid operator, we are increasingly confronted with the limits of our transport capacity.”
“During the InterFlex Strijp project, we tested the practical operation of local a local flexibility market for the purpose of congestion management in Eindhoven’s Strijp-S district; a creative innovation district. The test setup consisted of four elements. A PV installation, a storage battery, EV charging stations in a parking garage, and the Croonwolter&dros office in Eindhoven. All these so-called flexibility sources could adapt their energy consumption or production to mitigate network congestion.”
“For the local market we created, we needed a system to control all assets involved. So that the battery would receive a signal and start charging in case of congestion, for example, and would start discharging again at the right moment.”
“For this purpose, they developed LIMS, short for Local Infrastructure Management System”, Daphne refers to the predecessor of the system which Energico is now marketing under the name Emma. “This was all done according to the USEF standard, the Universal Smart Energy Framework.”
“We now know what is needed to develop a local flexibility market in reality.”
- Daphne Geelen, Enexis Netbeheer
“A lot of knowledge and experience. We now know what is needed to a local flexibility market in reality. How to manage it, what the technical and organizational requirements are, how it works with contract partners. We started this project to find that kind of knowledge, and we succeeded.”
“It has also laid the foundations for a grid management system, which we use to predict when and where to expect congestion, and how to respond to congestion with flexibility. The energy transition leads us to use a more advanced, more dynamic way to manage our network.”
“As a good collaboration. The idea was to learn new things together, and we certainly did. They actively came up with solutions and suggestions for any issues we encountered or might encounter.”
“The connected assets, for example, didn’t always work as we expected, upon which they took responsibility for the communication protocol, in order to solve the interfacing. The working atmosphere was always very good, despite the difficulties that naturally come with any pilot project.”
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