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Demonstration of an energy management and control system aggregating small-scale battery storages to a virtual balancing power facility for active grid stabilisation and renewables integration

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ActiveGrid (Demonstration of an energy management and control system aggregating small-scale batterystorages to a virtual balancing power facility for active grid stabilisation and renewables integration)

Reporting period: 2016-03-01 to 2016-07-31

Given the increasing feed-in of electricity from renewable energy sources, grid operators are in rising need of a smart grid infrastructure and efficient energy storage technologies to overcome supply and demand variability challenges. Without innovative load balancing concepts as the here proposed ActiveGrid solution, it is impossible to ensure the further integration of renewables into the grid and thereby contributing to a low carbon economy. Behind that background it is obvious that recently funding schemes and regulation shift from promoting the generation of renewable energy towards battery storage and self-consumption. This trend is supporting the commercialisation of the ActiveGrid concept and the company’s strategy in general.

Deutsche Energieversorgung GmbH (DEV) provides the decisive link to leverage the synergies between renewable energy producers (residential solar PV owners) and grid operators. ActiveGrid aggregates a large number of local battery storage devices to create one virtual power facility and provides balancing power capacities to the grid. At the same time it provides battery storage owners access to the balancing power market and generate new sources of income for their solar PV-battery storage systems. As such, ActiveGrid will disrupt the retail electricity market as it facilitates flexible tailor-made electricity tariffs, direct renewables electricity trade for ActiveGrid participants, independent from their power utilities.

The objectives were to prepare the ActiveGrid market introduction thoroughly by identifying special concerns, risks, and IP issues and transforming this knowledge into a reliable and sustainable business approach. The project-specific objectives were:
• To update market analysis w.r.t. regulatory issues, cost structures and market segments
• To elaborate the business plan with more concrete market figures in the envisaged target countries as well as a dedicated market entry strategy
• To set up a risk management plan and IP strategy
• To assess and prioritise further technical developments and future needs

All business related analysis and calculations have confirmed the technical and commercial feasibility of the project. The overall conclusion is that the business idea is unchanged and DEV is eager to continue the project. To demonstrate and validate the technology in the target markets, DEV needs a client base with at least ~ 2,000 storage installations. For a foreign market replication DEV will apply for SME Instrument Phase 2 funding. This replication project will be accompanied by a new marketing campaign, whereas the ActiveGrid solution will be communicated under the name “EconamicGrid”, which is the merging of its main features being economic and dynamic.
The feasibility study comprised the following activities to economically and technically validate the project: market analysis and prioritisation of European target markets, in-depth FTO analysis, and implementation of IPR management and sharpening of the business plan. Moreover, technical specifications have been determined for large scale demonstration.
The SME Instrument Phase 1 of the project has been successfully finished after five months by the end of July 2016.

All five tasks have been executed according to the Grant Agreement. The market analysis has provided a profound basis for the elaboration of a dedicated market entry strategy. The envisaged target markets were confirmed by the investigation, prioritized and their market entry was scheduled. An in-depth analysis of competitors, market shares and regulatory issues in these markets prepared a smooth and effective future market introduction. A number of relevant sales representatives were identified and approached. Others will be contacted in the nearer future. A FTO analysis was performed and yielded full freedom-to-operate for ActiveGrid. In addition, DEV has implemented an in-house IPR management and strategy that yielded in the filing for trademarks. Latest technical advancements and achieved solutions were systematically surveyed and compared with future remaining development needs, competitors’ products/strategies what helped to prioritizes next R&D activities for most effective commercialisation of the solution.
Dissemination actions have been performed throughout the entire project, for example DEV represented the project at the trade fair INTERSOLAR in June 2016 and published an information video about the concept.
The project will facilitate renewable energy integration in Europe. As such it will disrupt the landscape of power utilities, wholesalers and electricity retail providers whereby enabling individuals to participate in the electricity market. In future individuals will participate in renewable energy generation, consumption and trading and become real prosumers.
An important outcome for the company is that DEV has confirmed its company strategy to disrupt the retail electricity market thereby transforming to a smart energy technology and service provider. Currently DEV is manufacturing battery storages. Although being technology leader in this segment, battery storages will become a mass product with a mature technology and small margins in the future. To reinforce its technological leadership and competitiveness, DEV will integrate this business with the provision of innovative energy services in order to fully deploy the potential of ActiveGrid to develop novel business models upon. This business innovation project funded through the SME instrument programme in Phase 1 has already proven highly valuable for DEV to become the energy provider of tomorrow.
Figure: Schematic overview of the fundamental functioning of the Econamic Grid® solution – showing t