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A step closer to sustainable cities with new demo tool for automated energy trading

An EU-funded project has published a report that describes an automated energy trading marketplace and the platform developed to operate it.

Digital Economy

New technologies are changing the shape of energy markets. The traditional model of electricity delivery flowing one way from large centralised power plants via grids to end consumers is now being challenged. In the new emerging distribution model – which also includes local renewable energy sources, local energy storage, smart grids and consumers who now also have the opportunity to become energy producers – a more holistic and sustainable approach is needed. With these developments in mind, the EU-funded CityxChange project is developing tools to support the generation and trading of renewable energy by a connected community within a city. The CityxChange team has now published a new report that discusses a demonstration tool for a local distributed positive energy block (DPEB) trading market. A DPEB is a group of three or more connected neighbouring buildings that generate more primary energy in a year than what they use. The report describes the design of a local energy market and “the software trade platform which is developed for the purpose of large scale operation of the local market.” The automated local energy market trading solution will be demonstrated in Trondheim, the project’s lighthouse city in Norway. As the report states, the demonstration includes trading operations with local energy resources such as photovoltaics, electric vehicle chargers, batteries, heat and flexible load. The trade solution, it goes on to say, “is based on a complete digitized chain of data flow and dispatch actions and opens up for a wide range of asset types and is scalable and replicable.” It can furthermore be configured to manage multiple local markets. Additionally, “sector coupling for local market trade of energy is made possible to be demonstrated because all actual energy assets are metered with smart meters and the heat resources are presented in the local marketplace as a flexible resource/product.”

A closer look at the trade platform

The trade platform solution is a joint effort by project partners Powel, IOTA and ABB. The digital marketplace developed by Powel is responsible for receiving bids from market participants who register local assets using specialised Powel software called AlgoTrader. Data is received from OPTIMAX® units – ABB’s on-site energy management system units installed at each market asset location. The integrity of data on executed trades is guaranteed by the IOTA Tangle – a system of nodes used for confirming transactions. According to the report, “[t]he verification service … has been implemented in order to simplify integration of existing infrastructure, including input data, AlgoTrader and marketplace backend functionalities, and to guarantee integrity of data shared across different systems and stakeholders. This makes it possible to increase trust and transparency in a multi-stakeholders ecosystem thanks to the immutability guaranteed by the IOTA Tangle distributed ledger technologies.” In the CityxChange (Positive City ExChange) project’s vision of a local power market, buy and sell offers are matched automatically when they are registered in the digital marketplace. The market operates on a first come, first served basis, with the main goal being to make it accessible to all participants, regardless of the asset’s size, type or owner. The current work furthers the project’s goal to demonstrate how digital technologies can be used to create more climate-friendly cities. For more information, please see: CityxChange project website


CityxChange, energy, local, market, trade, city

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