Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

NOBEL GRID Report Summary

Project ID: 646184
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.3.4.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NOBEL GRID (New Cost Efficient Business Models for Flexible Smart Grids)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2016-06-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

"H2020 NOBEL GRID project, with a budget of € 14M, 21 institutions from 11 countries and led by the company ETRA, is developing new tools and business models that will allow all European citizens to benefit from a more secure and stable distribution network, promoting the integration of distributed, renewable energy sources and greater participation of consumer and final "prosumer" in the energy market. The project began January 1, 2015 and is estimated to be completed in mid-2018. In this context, during this first period, the consortium of NOBEL GRID has finalized with the analysis and definition of the project requirements, Use cases and architecture, and the design of the first version of the prototypes.

As main ground-breaking objective of the project, NOBEL GRID provides solutions for all the actors in order to share the benefits of the Smart Grid in a fair, sustainable and efficient way. In this context, NOBEL GRID promotes, by means of new technologies and business models, collective schemes and community initiatives, giving power and protection to the final consumer, contributing to a more competitive and well-functioning internal energy market, and help address serious social problems of vulnerable consumers.

Specifically, the project has three main objectives:
• The first one, and core of the project, is the development and demonstration of innovative solutions and tools in order to improve medium and low voltage electricity distribution networks, providing secure, stable and robust smart grids allowing DSOs to mitigate costs of management, replacement and maintenance of the grid in presence of very large share of renewable energy. This includes intelligent active control of the network, of the active and reactive power flows, fault and outage management, automatic control concepts, network synchronization, active loads and distributed storage integration. At the end, NOBEL GRID provides to all customers better prices and the access to a low carbon electricity supply.

• The second action is the development, integration and real demonstration of new services to be provided to all the actors of the electricity distribution grid and market. This will include services for next generation distributed renewable energy integration and active demand response. Three different applications are being developed for the different actors:
1. Grid Management and Maintenance Master Framework for DSOs (G3M Framework)
2. Energy Monitoring and Analysis App for domestic and industrial prosumers (EMA App)
3. DR Flexible Market cockpit for aggregators, ESCOs, energy cooperatives and retailers (DRFM cockpit)

• The third action includes the deployment and demonstration of innovative solutions to lower the cost of the development and deployment of smart metering systems. NOBEL GRID will address this action at three different levels:
1. Promoting and testing the innovative concept of an Unbundled Smart Meter (USM)
2. Developing and testing a new Smart Low-cost Advanced Meter (SLAM)
3. Interfacing with Smart Home Environments and Building Management Systems (BMS)

All these three actions are being deployed and tested at large scale in five different sites in five EU members’ states in Belgium, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and Greece. NOBEL GRID has selected them to maximise the EU-wide impact, and prioritising the trials with cooperatives and non-profit entities. The main advantage of this is the high level of investment these parties keep on grid innovation with regards to other electric profit companies, which guarantees their commitment for the rapid adoption of technologies benefitting their customers and society."

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During this first period, the consortium of NOBEL GRID has finalized with the analysis and definition of the project requirements, Use cases and architecture, and are developing the first version of the prototypes. In this next section, it is described in detail the technical solutions that the project has been developing and implementing during this first period of the project, in order to address the project objectives.
a. Architecture
To support the project ambitious goals, it has been developed the NOBEL GRID architecture, which is specified using the Smart Grid Architecture Model (SGAM) Framework from CEN-CENELEC-ETSI. Using the SGAM Framework, it has been modelled the business context associated with NOBEL GRID project, the use cases that support the project's business goals, and the ICT architecture that underpins the implementation of the NOBEL GRID use cases. This includes specifying the components, communication protocols and data models that compose the ICT architecture.
Additionally, it has been specified the security requirements for the NOBEL GRID architecture using the NISTIR 7628 security guidelines. Ongoing work is examining the privacy implications of the NOBEL GRID architecture –approaching this by performing a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA), with the ultimate goal of defining a set of suitable privacy controls.

b. The Unbundled Smart Meter (SLAM)
In NOBEL GRID is being developed from scratch, and innovative and affordable Smart Meter, based on the Unbundled Smart Meter (USM) concept, which contains two different parts.
a) A Smart Metrology Meter (SMM), with metrology features and fixed functionality, dealing also with hard real-time functionalities and acting like a “black box” with stored data which cannot be deleted in any other way than through buffer recirculation after e.g. 6 months or 2 years (some of it being legally relevant), and
b) a Smart Meter eXtension (SMX), which has high flexibility to accommodate new functionalities, to support smart grid and various energy services and to support in a secure way multi-user, multi-protocol communication with various actors in the energy field.

c. G3M (Grid Management and Maintenance Master framework)
The G3M framework (Grid Management and Maintenance Master) developed in NOBEL GRID is the access point for the operator of distribution grid to the set of functionalities and services offered by NOBEL GRID.
G3M main component is the User web Interface that includes advanced functionalities for the management and exploitation of the Smart Grid by means of the DSO, or the grid operator. All the services are integrated in an only one interface that allows it to monitor and control the distribution grid from different perspectives.
The G3M is based on existing standards for interaction with elements of the Smart Grid, so it supports any equipment or service that meets these standards. However, the G3M develops its full potential when it is deployed in the distribution network equipment SMX/SLAM, developed as part of the NOBEL GRID project.

d. Demand Response Flexibility Market (DRFM) cockpit
The Demand Response Flexibility Market (DRFM) cockpit is a proven platform that allows Aggregator, Retailer, energy cooperatives and ESCOs to manage all aspects of their demand response (DR) programs through a single, integrated system that is able to manage their flexibility assets. DRFM Cockpit is a Decision Support System capable to bridge Demand-Side Resources and their aggregated flexibility with distribution grid actors to improve the operation of the processes and resources under their control. In detail, the DRFM module will allow Aggregators and Retailers to maximize profits and manage deviations while supporting grid operators to ensure network stability and security.

e. Energy Monitoring and Analytics Application (EMA App)
EMA App provides domestic and industrial prosumers with real time data visualization and recommendations to improve energy efficiency, maximize use of renewables and minimize energy bills according to user’s profile, giving them more power and protection. EMA App also provides the option to share the experiences with other prosumers to foster user engagement and allows them to become an active actor in the smart grid by participating in DR programs, either to benefit for lower energy prices and/or to contribute to grid stability and higher penetration of renewable sources.
The prosumers will be able to monitor, control and manage their energy consumption and the production throughout metrics and indicators. The main idea is to have a clear picture of what is happening currently at home or in the premises with a glimpse to the main panel of EMA App. The information to be shown to the prosumer includes real-time energy consumption, production and storage in the prosumers’ facilities (household or enterprise), status of smart home devices, as well as current and forecasted context variables (weather, carbon grid intensity, and price tariffs), etc.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

European leaders committed themselves to reduce 20% EU greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels, raising the share of EU energy consumption produced from renewable resources to 20 % and achieving 20% improvement in energy efficiency.
This ambitious target implies three major challenges for Europe:
• The integration of large-scale Renewable Energy Sources (RES) in EU energy grids.
• The deployment of advance active demand response schemas.
• The involvement of the end-user promoting the access to the energy open market.
In this context, NOBEL GRID will address the above mentioned challenges by means of diverse tools, ICT services and business models, as described in the previous sections of this document.
In summary, and based on the project objective, the expected impact of NOBEL GRID, it is summarised below:
a. Environmental impact
NOBEL GRID main challenge is to contribute to the EU’s goal of CO2 reduction of minimally 80% by 2050, towards an optimal smart energy system with flexibility in demand and generation by 2035.
In this sense, NOBEL GRID will contribute to the smoothly integration of the DER in the distributions grid by means of technologies and services that will make possible more stable and secure grids. This will contribute in the enhancement of the European energy mix, with the reduction of the emissions, resulting in a notable improvement on quality of life for EU citizens. In addition, considering the current economic situation and the dependencies on energy resources, the optimal integration of renewable resources in EU local networks will reduce electricity market price but also will help to mitigate capital and operational costs in grid monitoring and maintenance for the DSOs.
On the other hand, NOBEL GRID, by means of new business models and incentive plans that promote demand response schemas, will have a huge environmental impact. While demand response technology shifts power from one conventional source to renewable energy, it will also lower the amount of power consumed. Therefore, NOBEL GRID will provide less power consumed and therefore fewer levels of pollutants. With NOBEL GRID demand response models, the 21st century European smart grid will be a green grid. Plants that generate peak power often also generate high levels of pollutants. NOBEL GRID will provide tools to balance energy demand and load and avoid demand peaks. Therefore, demand response will provide not only cleaner and efficient energy, but also more stable and balanced grids.
b. Social impact
Finally, NOBEL GRID demonstration will be focused mainly in electric cooperatives, and other non-profit organization actors. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), there are significant advantages of the cooperatives of energy, compared to big utilities, such as the ability to meet the goals of low cost, value for money, the opportunity to inspire people and provide reliable services. As companies focused on the community, cooperatives allow the democratic control by the people of the area. One of the main elements that define the way the majority of electric cooperatives is its support for renewables. Good part of the resources obtained with the activity of the cooperative has invested in facilities to obtain a clean and renewable production, this is the clean and sustainable electricity that is physically produced by co-operators in the same population and distributed to their partners.
In this context, the energy Cooperatives of NOBEL GRID guarantee to the customer a fair price per kilowatt, management of the electric bill and the renewable origin of the power supply. For example, the Electric cooperatives of Valencian Region, included the Electric cooperative of Alginet, provide supply services to users at a price between a 7% and 10% cheaper than the big utilities. In addition, most cooperatives have deployed Smart meters at zero cost to the users, and have adapted their services and own software. In this way, the growing popularity of energy cooperatives has captured the attention of many users dissatisfied by the current energy model, and interested by models of clean energy from renewable sources and away of oligopolies. By means of the promotion of energy cooperatives models, NOBEL GRID brings many different benefits for end-users, guaranteeing the universal access to energy to any social stratum, reducing also energy poverty. Prosumers will be able to consume energy when it is cheaper thanks to NOBEL GRID DR, reducing their electricity bill. It is expected that DR users save 10% on their electricity bills, and a 15% reduction in peak load usage.
c. Economic impact
The distribution grid technologies and energy services constitute a profitable market, also for exports. It is an opportunity for NOBEL GRID business to lead innovation and creates new jobs, often with local small and medium-sized companies (SMEs). This market has a 26% average annual growth. That global market forecast volume increases from 17.295 M€ in 2010 to 90.471 M€ in 2017.
Related to the SLAM designed and developed in NOBEL GRID, European Union’s directive pushes smart meters deployment to most of its member countries’ residents by 2020. Adding commitments made by other EU member nations, smart metering investments will reach at least 30€ billion by 2020, with 170 million to 180 million smart meters installed. Moreover, it is estimated that over the next 18 years, with an investment of 15.000 M€ install 53 million smart meter of gas and electricity, would be obtained profits of 23.000 M€, which would mean a net profit of 8.000 M€.
In this sense, NOBEL GRID is defining specific and attractive business models and exploitation plans in order to open new markets for these advanced smart grid and smart metering technologies and foster and promote European industries competitiveness. The project brings a competition of new services and business models offered by a different companies, including SMEs; that will bring competitiveness in services and will allow Smart Grid development towards even un-anticipated limits.

Related information

Record Number: 193663 / Last updated on: 2017-01-24