2020-04-15 16:00:00 +0000

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FLEXGRID will develop a holistic energy market architecture aiming at maximizing social welfare

The goal of the Horizon 2020 FLEXGRID project is to integrate more intelligence in existing software platforms and tools developed in the context of related EU energy flagship projects.

The EU Horizon 2020 project FLEXXGRID has just wrapped up its first six months. The three-year project started in October 2019 with the purpose of creating a novel smart grid architecture that facilitates high renewable energy source (RES) penetration through innovative markets towards efficient interaction between advanced electricity grid management and intelligent stakeholders.

Prodromos Makris
Prodromos Makris

The idea behind the FLEXGRID project is to study in technical depth the advanced interaction of existing electricity markets’ and electric grids’ operations. For example, many of today’s electricity markets are operating without considering the underlying network topology and constraints or just considering rather simplistic, and thus inaccurate, network models, explains Dr. Prodromos Makris, senior researcher at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) in Greece, which coordinates the project. He adds: System Operators (DSOs/TSOs) opt for investing in new infrastructure in order to reinforce their networks, which is generally much more costly, and inefficient in the long term, than procuring flexibility services in a market-based manner. FLEXGRID’s idea is to bridge this gap by designing and developing holistic energy market architectures that facilitate the interaction of electricity markets and networks towards maximizing the social welfare.

Win-win business context

Thus, the ultimate goal of the FLEXGRID project is to integrate more intelligence in existing software platforms and tools, which have been developed in the context of related Horizon 2020 projects.

An Automated Trading Platform (ATP) will be developed to facilitate the automated, online and optimal trading of flexibility assets, realizing ‘win-win’ business contexts for energy market stakeholders at both FlexSupply and FlexDemand sides of the market, says Dr. Makris.

The FLEXGRID ATP may be owned by an independent Flexibility Market Operator (FMO) legal entity, who will realize revenues in the form of license fees paid by all involved FLEXGRID actors. Moreover, through FLEXGRID’s innovative market architecture (advanced mathematical modelling and research algorithms), it also facilitates innovative Energy Services that highly enhance the management efficiency of the various market stakeholders’ internal business portfolios.

Different partner objectives

Each FLEXGRID partner has set its own exploitation targets, representing eight European countries and different areas of expertise.

For example, being one of the most prestigious Flexibility Market Operators in Europe and worldwide, NODES aims at exploiting its commercial software platform by integrating FLEXGRID intelligence related with advanced market clearing models and algorithms, whereas Smart Innovation Norway (SIN) will use the FLEXGRID results to exploit its growing experience in facilitating the participation of mobile, distributed and centralized energy storage assets in novel flexibility markets for dealing with grid operation challenges. The next step for SIN is to coordinate the real market uptake of these solutions in the EU area and beyond.

German service utility bnNETZE will highly enhance its real-life pilot in the Freiburg area by integrating FLEXGRID intelligence and demonstrating even better results than the ones recently showcased in the context of the Horizon 2020 energy storage flagship project, INVADE, notes Dr. Makris.

FLEXGRID’S impact on Europe

The NTUA senior researcher believes the FLEXGRID project will have an impact in Europe. According to him, it will help citizens and communities as well as grid infrastructures and energy market stakeholders.

FLEXGRID’s services will help citizens to enjoy advanced energy services at lowest possible cost and to adopt energy efficiency best practices in their lifestyle and contribute in the world’s CO2 decarbonization, explains Dr. Makris.

In addition, he emphasizes, the project will help communities to invest in clean energy technologies contributing in Europe’s energy autonomicity and towards energy democratization.

The services will help grid infrastructures to integrate high renewable energy source volumes from distributed renewable generators without jeopardizing required security of supply, and to operate the electricity networks at the minimum possible cost by procuring flexibility services from new emerging market stakeholders, continues Dr. Makris.

Finally, energy market stakeholders (i.e. private companies) will be able to create new and financially sustainable business models, which will boost economic growth and sell competitive energy services throughout the globe.

FLEXGRID partners:

  1. Institute of Communications and Computer Systems (ICCS)/National Technical University of Athens (NTUA, Coordinator), Greece
  2. Etra Investigacion y Desarrollo SA, Spain
  3. Smart Innovation Norway AS (SIN), Norway
  4. Nord Pool Consulting AS (NPC), Norway
  5. NODES AS, Norway
  6. University of Cyprus (UCY), Cyprus
  7. University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (UNIZG), Croatia
  8. Croatian Transmission System Operator Ltd. (HOPS), Croatia
  9. bnNETZE, Germany
  10. Denmark Technical University (DTU), Denmark
  11. Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH (AIT), Austria