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Demonstration of plug and play solutions for renewable off-grid electricity

Container-based integrated solutions for sustainable and long-term renewable electricity production, storage and distribution which demonstrate better performance than state-of-the-art solutions with respect to the overall installation, commissioning, operation and maintenance costs. The following parameters and features are expected to be optimised:

  • Versatility of renewable energy sources to utilise (e.g. photovoltaics, wind, micro-hydropower, bioenergy);
  • Plug and play capabilities towards the external electricity sources as well as storage options;
  • Maximising the share of renewable electricity sources vis-á-vis diesel generation;
  • Demonstrated solutions should support power demand of decentralised communities up to 100 kW, in line with targets of Mission Innovation Challenge Nr. 2.

A plug and play prototype should be fully demonstrated, including single shipment of the core system in an intermodal container. Local installation of the fully operational system by the local community should also be demonstrated. Demonstrations shall take place in at least two communities with diverse physical landscape and climate conditions, which are located in different continents. Those demonstrations should use different renewable energy sources locally available. Necessary power generation equipment shall be shipped together with the container; nevertheless, the project should also allow for integration of existing renewable electricity installations in loco by also providing necessary hardware and software interfaces, including those for remote operation and maintenance training. The container should include equipment for energy management and metering as well as system monitoring for demand response optimisation. Renewable drop-in solutions for commercially available equipment developed primarily for fossil fuel use (e.g. biodiesel in combination with diesel generators) are not in scope of the demonstration.

Furthermore, projects proposals should foresee to exchange information with the BRIDGE project[[]] and to elaborate on the suitability of the demonstrated solutions for crisis intervention after disasters.

This topic will contribute to the Challenge #2 (Off-grid access to electricity) of Mission Innovation.

Proposals are expected to bring the technology from TRL 6-7 to 7-8.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of about EUR 5 million would allow this challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

For off-grid communities, research and development is needed to bring down the cost of renewable electricity solutions in diverse geographic and climate conditions by improving at the same time their performance in respect of robustness, reliability, network stability and autonomous operation. Existing micro-grid solutions do not fully respond to the needs of communities in respect of investment costs, versatility, plug and play capabilities, easy installation and connection to the renewable energy source, easy and cost-saving logistics as well as maximisation of the renewables share.

Successful projects will demonstrate the attractiveness of renewable integrated container solutions for off-grid communities in diverse physical landscape and climate conditions by lowering the overall costs of the renewable energy generation and energy system components while ensuring their robustness, reliability, sustainability and autonomous operation.