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Local Electricity retail Markets for Prosumer smart grid pOWER services

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - EMPOWER (Local Electricity retail Markets for Prosumer smart grid pOWER services)

Reporting period: 2016-07-01 to 2018-04-30

The aim of the EMPOWER project is to explore and develop an integrated ICT solution to support the development of an electricity local market place and innovative business models, including operational methods to encourage micro-generation with renewable resources and participation of consumers and prosumers. The creation of incentives for all players would allow for exploiting the latent flexibility of the user-side of the electricity distribution net. This would greatly enhance the benefits of distributed renewable resources and enhance the impact and sustainability of demand-response programs. A local electricity market approach supported by innovative ICT platforms can operate effectively in a synchronized way with the overall energy system and market. The solution will create a shared engagement of local supply alleviating the traditional DSO’s need to invest in centralized sourcing.
The project's integrated ICT real-time platform would be able to manage trading, metering and management of electricity flow according to the transactions completed within the local market and beyond its boundaries. EMPOWER follows a microgrid approach where energy flow is controlled by devices that are managed by a cloud-based management module. The management module also supports the trading that is handled by customizable software agents. Aggregation of contributions from the user community, metering, credit assignments, predictions and strategy maintenance would be aligned to different business models. A real-time communication module links the management part with the micro-grid control and household devices assigned to an integrated demand-response regime.
EMPOWER will be tested at three representative locations across Europe, to prove that an ICT-supported local market approach would be accepted by consumers and prosumers, ensuring the required engagement and benefits to establish a highly efficient self-adaptive market solution able to balance supply and demand effectively at local level.
Three different pilot areas in Norway, Germany and Malta have been chosen and established through contractual agreements. The specifications and architecture for these pilots have been defined. The market role and tasks of the Smart Energy Service Provider (SESP) has been defined and the concept of local markets has been built around the SESP. Local market design and trading concept development is in its final stages. Simulations mimicking the local market implementation at pilot sites are currently being carried out. A control, market software and platform architecture using SGAM has been designed for the SESP. The communication and physical connections between market agents and the SESP platform has been designed. On the ICT side, a unified high-level architecture for SESP cloud based control system has reached an advanced phase with integration between platform, metering cloud and local controller functions. The communications platform has been successfully tested out in the laboratory together with the development of SCADA user-interface system and APIs for connecting local controllers to the SESP. The business aspects of local market concept have been analysed and collected as case studies. Three distinct business models and two prototypes have been identified. These main results will converge together in the coming months for successful implementation at the pilot sites.
As postulated in the proposal, the concept for local energy markets has gained considerable traction both at the community level and at the regulatory/policy making levels. Microgrids and energy cooperatives have sprung around the world but a unifying market structure for operation of microgrids together with flexibility and energy services is yet to be developed. EMPOWER has made significant progress in this direction by integrating local markets in energy, flexibility and services together with a cloud-based ICT platform. A new market role of a smart energy service provider (SESP) has been created, characterized and defined. The SESP builds and nourishes the local community around local energy markets, participates in wholesale energy markets, acts as an aggregator on behalf of the community, sells flexibility to the DSO and provides a range of user-centric services to its members. However, the SESP needs a sound business model to be economically viable and sustain its planning and operations. Network-based platform business model concepts such as Airbnb, Uber, etc. have begun to percolate down to everyday lives. EMPOWER aims to translate the best of these business models and more to the energy sector through the SESP to create a huge impact among communities and increase user-awareness about energy distribution, consumption and especially local and green energy production. At the community level, residents from the pilot area in Norderhaugveien in Hvaler, Norway, have been educated about the project and have expressed great interest in participating in the pilot and can’t wait to get started. At the business level, EMPOWER has been able to successfully raise awareness and attract the attention of market players from various parts of the world such as EPEX, Engie, MGM and Advancy consultants, Corador, Brooklyn microgrid project, Factor Energia, etc. These players have expressed a keen interest in following the progress of the project in addition to providing encouraging feedback. At the regulatory and policy level, EMPOWER has already set in motion a nation-wide debate on the competitive and cooperative nature of roles of traditional market players and local market aspirants. The cross market operations proposed in the local market design is beginning to make it clear and emphasize that coexistence between local market players and traditional players is here to stay and that they can enjoy both a complementary and a supplementary relationship.
SmartIO in Copenhagen
Empower means leveraging citizen energy management
Prosumer installation in Hvaler (NO)