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SmarterEMC2 Report Summary

Project ID: 646470
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.3.4.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SmarterEMC2 (Smarter Grid: Empowering SG Market Actors through Information and Communication Technologies)

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

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Power systems undergo massive technological changes due to the ever increasing concerns for environmental and energy sustainability. The increase of RES and DG penetration is a key objective for Europe in order to meet its environmental targets. Towards the fulfillment of this objective innovative ICT tools and communication infrastructure are necessary. SmarterEMC2 implements ICT tools that support the integration of consumers through Demand Response services and the integration of DG/RES through Virtual Power Plants. These tools take into account the Smart Grids Architecture Model (SGAM) as well as the future structure of the Distribution Network, as described by the relevant EU bodies and organizations. The project explores whether the existing telecommunication infrastructure is sufficient to support in mass scale the emerging business models and Smart Grid services. Also, the project explores existing and ongoing standardization activities and if necessary will propose adaptations to data models of market-oriented and field-level standards.

Smart grids are transformed through the integration of ICT into the existing power systems (generation, transmission, and/or distribution physical systems). The SmarterEMC2 project brings together industrial, research and academic groups with background on different areas of ICT and Power systems with a common goal of achieving a breakthrough in the integration of ICT with Power systems. In detail, the project has the following ambitious objectives:
• Validation of ICT tools that support the integration of consumers through Demand Response services and the integration of DG/RES through Virtual Power Plants;
• Exploration of ICT tools that facilitate the management and operation of the distribution grid;
• Demonstration of the innovative use of ICT tools in real life pilot sites;
• Assessment via simulation of diverse communication architectures in smart grid services
• Proposition of new business models that support active customer participation, increased RES penetration, distribution grid reliable operation, and open access to the energy markets

SmarterEMC2 is fully dedicated towards achieving a maximum of impact. To validate the implemented ICT tools, the project includes 3 real-world pilots and 3 large-scale lab simulations. The pilots will demonstrate the impact of Demand Response and Virtual Power Plants services in real world settings, while the simulations will reveal the ability of the communication networks to support massive uptake of novel SG services.

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

The activities of the consortium during the first half of the project were mainly focused on the following tracks: Smart Grid domain exploration, requirements assessment and ICT Tools conceptualization; specification of the ICT tools to be demonstrated in the project; definition of the pilot scenarios and preparation of the pilot sites. In alignment with the above activities the key outcomes of the project are summarized as follows:
• A comprehensive assessment of the electricity market at various European countries;
• A thorough analysis of reference usage scenarios for novel services related to the electricity market and the distribution system operation;
• The definition of the conceptual architecture of the ICT ecosystem that will be deployed, demonstrated and validated in the various pilot scenarios of the project;
• The technical specifications of the ICT tools that will be deployed, demonstrated and validated in the pilot scenarios of the project;
• A feasibility analysis of hybrid CDNs and P2P from the point of view of their application in the Smart Grid domain;
• A detailed dissemination and communication plan for the project and an extensive set of dissemination (conference and journal papers) and communication activities already accomplished.

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)

The SmarterEMC2 deals with the following Smart Grid use cases:
• Virtual Power Plants (VPP): In this use case, VPP participation in the wholesale and intraday markets is considered as well as the provision of ancillary services like voltage control.
• Demand Response (DR): The DR use case includes demand response dispatch for grid operation and market participation, as well as DR resources management.
• Local Constraints Management: In this use case the DSO identifies distribution grid problems, defines preventive control actions and adjusts flexibility offers to ensure optimal grid operation.
• Energy Hub: The Energy Hub includes a set of functionalities related to a Microgrid operation, including optimal scheduling, monitoring and control of distributed flexibility assets.
In order to support the aforementioned use cases, a data analytics platform is designed with the main goal to provide data storage, processing and visualization services to the ICT components of the above mentioned use cases.
The following paragraphs give a high level description of the ICT tools that are being explored in the project.

ICT tools for Demand Response Services
Recent advances in the Smart Grid domain have reshaped the business ecosystem of the energy market and, as a consequence, various new market actors have emerged. Among them, the Aggregator is a business entity that acts as a mediator/broker between consumers/prosumers and the DSOs, offering the latter flexibility services that help them mitigate problems such as power shortages and blackouts in a cost-effective manner. Demand side management (DSM) is a notion of these flexibility services that deals with controlling and shaping the demand for energy. Demand Response (DR) is a DSM approach that manages electricity demand by sending price-based or incentive-based electronic signals to the consumers who react (automatically or manually) by altering their consumption behaviour. In SmarterEMC2 we implement an ICT infrastructure for Demand Response services capable to support multi-level, hierarchically organized business entities (DSOs, DR Aggregators, consumers). The core of this infrastructure is a DR Engine capable to interact with proprietary systems belonging to the DSOs, with higher or lower-level DR Engines of other DR Aggregators, as well as with smart (DR-enabled) or thin (DR-agnostic) clients residing at consumers’ premises. A variety of price-based (e.g. Time of Use Pricing, Critical Peak Pricing, Real Time Pricing) and incentive-based (e.g. Direct Load Control, Interruptible Pricing, Demand Bidding) DR programs, is supported. From a software architecture perspective, the DR Engine is implemented as an application server, offering the ability to be exploited as a Software-as-a-Service solution and therefore enabling third-party entities to offer DR services without the need to won and maintain the ICT infrastructure.

ICT tools for Virtual Power Plant
A Virtual Power Plant (VPP) is formed by the aggregation and coordinated action of various DERs including flexible loads not necessarily located in the same region. With the aim to provide ancillary services and participate in power markets, a cluster of DG units, controllable loads and storage systems are aggregated and handled as a single power plant. In SmarterEMC2 the concept of VPP is adapted in the SGAM and the proposed use cases by Smart Grid Task Force (SGTF) for data handling. A VPP Management System (VPPMS) was designed and is being developed in order to monitor, control and synchronize DERs and flexible loads. Eventually, this system will be offered as a service to market participants, freeing them from the need of having any kind of infrastructure in the field.

ICT tools for local constraints management
The Local Constraints Management System (LCMS) is a set of management and control tools that support DSOs in solving local constraints in their distribution network in coordination with market participation. The LCMS can be regarded as an enhancement system to be incorporated into a typical Distribution Management Systems (DMS), with the objective to deal with technical problems related to the operation of the distribution network. Such a system makes use of existing flexibility within the distribution grid to address requests from the TSO or the DSOs, by controlling resources owned by the DSO, or by requesting the participation of resources managed and controlled by other entities, such as VPP Operators and DR Aggregators. In SmarterEMC2 a comprehensive simulation platform was designed and is being developed to support DSOs in operation planning activities. This platform takes into consideration the electric grid operation as well as the impact of communications networks. On parallel, a set of management and control modules is being developed to deal with local constraints issues of the distribution grids. The simulation platform and associated tools will be validated in a laboratory environment in the course of the second half of the project.

Energy Hub
The notion of Energy Hub (EH) pertains to a system that responsible for the optimal planning and control of a Microgrid. Such as system may cooperate systems of other actors (e.g. the DRMS of a DR Aggregator, or the VPPMS of a VPP Aggregator) in order to provide flexibility services. In particular, the EH associates a certain number of flexibility assets within the operating within the Migrogrid with the objective to optimize local energy flows and minimize the economical and environmental costs. Due to regulatory reasons and its dimensions, EH cannot directly participate in the energy markets, thus EH is aggregated, as single entity, under the VPP Aggregator or the DR Aggregator, to which it appears as a single entity. In SmarterEMC2 we devise a novel optimization strategy, i.e. the EH estimates the optimal operating points of its underlying flexibility assets, taking into account VPP set points and DR Event information. The objective is to demonstrate a scenario where the EH indirectly provides ancillary and grid support services, by offering flexibility to the VPP and DR.

Big data storage, analytics and visualization platform
The ICT tools presented above are in need of a common infrastructure for storage and analysis of large scale data produced by the various grid assets and the support of advanced visualization services. In SmarterEMC2 a set of big data storage, analytics and visualization services were defined and are being implemented. These services will be consumed by a variety of clients, such as the VPP Management Platform and the DR Management Platform. The visualizations are further distinguished in customers’ visualizations (e.g. summary of actual consumption data over a defined period, overview of participation in previous DR events), VPP related visualizations (e.g. energy consumption and production forecasts, day-ahead scheduling of the VPP assets operation), and DR related visualizations (e.g. overview of DR resources, load shed forecasts).

How SmarterEMC2 achieves the expected impact related to LCE07
SmarterEMC2 project includes 2 real-world pilots of active Demand Response in Greece and in Turkey. The former will demonstrate DR in residential customers and the later in small industrial and commercial customers. It is worth to note that such a demonstration in the context of a proposal addressing LCE7-1 goes beyond the typical ICT development and lab testing and therefore is considered as a key advantage of this specific proposal.
SmarterEMC2 will test this functionality in the real world pilot. The goal is to create a platform that will allow to all responsible parties to have access to this service without the need to own infrastructure.
The SmarterEMC2 proposal includes a diverse set of ICT-based services to be provided in the emerging open energy market. In the project context we plan to make use of technological breakthroughs in domains such as predictive analytics and communication infrastructures to deliver services that are built on top of future proof ICT solutions.
The increased penetration of DG/RES leads to technical problem in the distribution network, such as congestion and overvoltage. Currently the only way to avoid these problems is to set limits in the installed capacity. Providing control in the DG/RES next to a proper regulatory framework may allow the increase of share of DGs and RES. SmarterEMC2 will provide the tools for large scale control of DG/RES
The DR solution that will be implemented in the context of the project will be offered as a SaaS solution. This will allow third-party entities to enter the DR services market without prior CAPEX to build their own ICT infrastructure. Not only this will facilitate the establishment of the DR market, but it will also boost the involved European ICT and services industry.
The project will implement and test in 2 real world pilots active participation of energy consumers in DR services. The key objective of these pilots will be to demonstrate how properly configured DR programs can empower consumers rendering them into active participants in the electricity market, but also offer DSOs an efficient tool to balance demand with generation.
• The installation of ICT infrastructure that is able to monitor efficiently the networks leads to better management and operations. For example a power outage can be detected quite fast or an overvoltage problem due to increased RES/DG production can be confront through proper control commands. Furthermore congestion or other network problems may occur only few hour per year. Traditionally these situations may require new investment (e.g. new transformers). However, having the ability to avoid such situations through SG services will allow the postponement of these investments. All these lead to a less expensive network with higher power quality.
• The project will deliver evidence about the performance of different options of telecommunications infrastructure in the delivery of SG services. Therefore, it will facilitate DSOs and other interested stakeholders to answer questions such as what communication technologies better suit what SG service; what are the CAPEX and OPEX for each design; and what is the potential of the design for future expansion.
• The DR solution that will be implemented in the context of the project will be offered as a SaaS solution. This will allow third-party entities to enter the DR services market without prior CAPEX to build their own ICT infrastructure.
The project also incorporates a discrete work package dedicated to the harmonization of the Smart Grid, with concrete contribution in applicable standardization activities that will facilitate the implementation of new services in the energy market.

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