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SMart IsLand Energy systems

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - SMILE (SMart IsLand Energy systems)

Período documentado: 2020-05-01 hasta 2021-10-31

The overall scope of SMILE project was to demonstrate, in real-life operational conditions, a set of both technological and non-technological solutions adapted to local circumstances targeting distribution grids to enable demand response schemes, smart grid functionalities, storage and energy system integration with the final objective of paving the way for the introduction of the innovative solutions in the market in the near future. To this end, three large-scale pilot projects have been implemented in three island locations in different regions of Europe with similar topographic characteristics but different policies, regulations and energy markets: Orkneys (UK), Samsø (DK) and Madeira (PT). SMILE consortium is composed by 19 partners from 6 EU countries coordinated by RINA Consulting.
The objective was to test solutions while establishing mutual learning processes and providing best practice guidance for replication in other regions. Actually, the 3 demonstrators in the islands validated different combinations of technological solutions according to local specificities and the existing infrastructure and involved all value chain actors needed to efficiently implement projects systems. The technological solutions vary from integration of different battery technologies, power to heat, electric vehicles and boats, aggregator approach to demand side management (DSM), Energy Management System and predictive algorithms. Nowadays, the increasing share of variable renewable energy sources proves to be challenging to the electricity system’s stability and reliability, thus requiring the system to become more flexible and responsive. The 3 case studies were characterised by high penetration of renewable energy sources in the electricity grid or have planned increased shares thereof in the forthcoming years and therefore each pilot aimed to demonstrate stable and secure grid operation in the context of: 1) implementation of solutions enabling demand response and the intelligent control and automation of distribution networks to provide for smart management of the grid; 2) adoption of energy storage solutions; 3) connection between the electricity network and other energy networks; 4) smart integration of grid users from transport and mobility. Moreover, cross-cutting activities among the pilots were devoted to solve common technical, organizational, legal, regulatory and market-related issues as well as to evaluate the solutions from the economic and business points of view. Each demonstrator brought a specific set of challenges, technology options and most importantly, energy market conditions. The sites are therefore effectively representative of the majority of the EU energy markets and offer excellent demonstration settings able to deliver maximum impact in terms of replicability. Actually, the Orkneys and Samsø are electrically connected to the mainland network and can be representative of smart grids located on the mainland as well, whereas Madeira is the case of an energy island not connected to the mainland network. Furthermore, island communities can be more easily engaged in the real-life testing of solutions aimed at solving important challenges impacting life on the island and therefore constituted the ideal candidates for demonstration activities requiring societal engagement and active residents’ commitment.
During the 54 project months, the activities in the 3 demonstrators were focused at the beginning on the design of the overall architectures, on the development of the key enabling technologies and project solutions and on their deployment. Then the target was the validation of the project solutions.
In the Orkney, the objective was to transform a semi-smart grid system (management of generation only) into a fully smart system (management of generation and demand), by using existing grid infrastructure and integrating new communications and control systems, as well as new controllable energy demand for heat and transport. When the installations of the controllable loads (domestic heat installs, EV smart charging) were completed, the last period of the project was devoted on the validation of the deployed DSM system and on the demonstration of the ability to absorb excess renewable energy that would have otherwise been curtailed.
The core of the Samsø Demonstrator was the DSM system for the Ballen marina including a battery energy storage system (BESS) which was developed, installed and tested on the field. The heat pump covering 100% of the heating demand in the harbour master’s office and the PV panels were installed as well. Special attention was paid on the development of the overall smart energy system control. The BESS improved the utilisation of the PV plant to 89% (instead of 45% without BESS) in the marina whereas solar energy covers 43% of the overall consumption.
In Madeira, 5 different pilots were defined, deployed and validated: two of them were related to the increase of self-consumption in PV micro-producers thanks to DSM services and BESS, other two were related to smart charging of EVs whereas one pilot dealt with Voltage control and levelling load.
Among the transversal activities, it is worth to mention the definition of the most appropriate Demand Response (DR) services, the development of improved concepts for control and automation of the grid and the definition of cyber security measures, the LCA/LCC studies, the cost benefit analysis as well as the definition of business cases and business model. Furthermore, to be highlighted the analysis of the legislative framework, the dissemination and communication activities for raising the awareness on the project solutions and the definition of replication guidelines applied to shadow Greek islands used as case studies.
Currently, Smart grids are particularly important to face the need of flexibly, stably and reliably solutions in energy systems characterized by increasing share of renewables as well as distributed energy generation. In this framework, SMILE implemented and tested in real-life conditions, different ICT-based solutions including a cross-functional and modular control and automation framework as well as plug-and-play and scalable software solutions (mainly predictive algorithms, control strategies, aggregator and decision-support tools), able to make distribution in an electricity grid integrating variable energy generation and various DER (including storage and demand response) more agile and competitive thanks to fusing actual real-time data with predicted ones from simulations. Based on the real-time data and KPIs available through the proposed infrastructure, the framework is able to provide grid operators with efficient decision support on how the various modules can be integrated together towards optimizing the overall energy systems operation. All the value chain actors needed to efficiently implement the 3 demonstrators have been involved and an innovation management approach will guarantee a wider exploitation and replication of technological solutions. Actually, the project is expected to have a relevant impact in terms of replicability of the proposed solutions: although deployed in island locations, the three demonstrators are representative of smart grid solutions operating in connected as well as non-connected modes guaranteeing to the project a wide socio-economic impact in EU.
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