Skip to main content

Democratizing energy markets through the introduction of innovative flexibility-based demand response tools and novel business and market models for energy cooperatives

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - FLEXCoop (Democratizing energy markets through the introduction of innovative flexibility-based demand response tools and novel business and market models for energy cooperatives)

Reporting period: 2019-04-01 to 2021-01-31

FLEXCoop realises a Demand Response framework enabling energy cooperatives to become aggregators. It equips energy cooperatives with innovative tools to exploit consumers' flexibility providing balancing and ancillary resources toward grid stability.
The full title is: "Democratising the energy market through introduction of innovative demand response tools and novel business models for energy cooperatives." FLEXCoop had a 40 month duration, started October 2017, and consisted of 13 partners.
Small/medium consumers are still excluded from energy markets.
- Lack of smart and real-time metering infrastructure
- Absence of a robust regulatory framework in most EU Countries
- Non-viable market offerings for small consumers

1. Safeguard distribution grid reliability and the transition to a more fossil-free energy future through explicit automated demand response strategies on the basis of aggregated flexibility utilization
2. Enable intelligence enhancement of Smart Home Systems with the integration of ICT-enabled human-centric DR optimization and the provision of innovative services to prosumers
3. Democratizing energy markets, through the introduction of residential prosumers as active players in energy markets and the transparent sharing of benefits achieved between the stakeholders involved
4. Deliver an open standards-based modular solution that ensures end-to-end interoperability between smart grids, energy management systems and smart home devices and holds a high replication potential around the EU
5. Tackle major market entry barriers for prosumers with the introduction of suitable business models for energy cooperatives
6. Promote the adoption of the FLEXCoop solution as a next-generation demand response optimization framework through intense dissemination and knowledge transfer
FLEXCoop realises end-user requirements, business model definition and the FLEXCoop System Architecture (Ref. D2.1 – D2.9).
Core modelling work was performed in WP3 “Demand Flexibility Modelling and Forecasting”(Ref. D3.1–D3.5):
• enriching existing Distributed Energy Resources (DER) models towards supporting flexibility capacity estimation (D3.1);
• defining occupants’ comfort dynamic models (D3.2) and human-centric models for Virtual Thermal Energy Storage (VTES) (D3.3);
• introducing EV flexibility modelling (D3.4); defining the algorithmic framework for intra-building Demand Response optimization and flexibility utilization (D3.5).
Based on WP2, WP3 developed front-end and back-end components in WP4, WP5, WP6.
Components of WP4 on “Data Acquisition and the Secure message-oriented Middleware” are:
• FLEXCoop OSB (D4.1 D4.2 D4.6) a smart home device, that through the middleware, facilitates deployment of DR optimization strategies
• Common Information Model (D.4.3 D4.7) defining the structure according to which the data is stored and the processed
• Middleware (D4.4 D4.8) as central hub of communication and data storage for all components.
• Security Access Control (SEAC) Framework (D4.5 D4.9) restricts data and API access to authorized users and components.
Demonstrator components were developed in WP5 “Open Demand Response Optimization”:
• Demand Flexibility Profiling engine (D5.1) incorporating and realising the modelling framework,
• Demand Flexibility Forecasting, Segmentation and Aggregation Module (D5.2 D5.6) enabling DER assets supporting different business requirements
• Settlement and Remuneration Module (D5.4 D5.8) enabling the measurement, verification of the flexibility activated by prosumers during a DR event
• Local and Global Demand Managers (D5.3 D5.7) analysing demand flexibility, in combination with DR signals.
• Aggregator Toolkit (D5.5 D5.9) to realise explicit demand response strategies through a UI.
Results of WP6 “Flexibility Sharing comprising the DER Registry, Marketplace and Prosumer Portal” are:
• Semantically Enhanced FLEXCoop DER Registry (D6.1 D6.5) a middleware sub-module defining data structures, access control rights, query options
• Prosumer Portal App (D6.3 D6.7) to enable prosumers participation in flexibility and enrolment in DR campaigns.
• Aggregators pool flexibility via the Open Marketplace (D6.2 D6.6) and propose standardized contracts.
After release of the “FLEXCoop integrated system” validation was performed and documented in D7.7 “FLEXCoop Holistic Performance Evaluation”.
Finally FLEXCoop released its Business Innovation Plan (D8.12) and delivered the Data Management Plan.
Concenring Dissemination FLEXCoop contributed in putting demand-side flexibility on the agenda of the cooperative movement and
broadened the circle of cooperatives:
a. by providing first-hand experience
b. by establishing a forum for discussion
FLEXCoop Exploitation:
• Realisation of TRL6 in the FLEXCoop solution
• Development of Open Source software components
• Contribution on demand-side flexibility but also on the kind of tools, services and processes required
• Exploitation of knowledge and experience acquired by participation in FLEXCoop by the cooperative partners in inciting the establishment of their own additional flexibility ventures,
• Clarification of the project’s individual results ownership and IPRs
FLEXCoop Impact
I. Technologically:
• Delivery of flexibility where it is needed
• Compatibility with several market models
• Modular functional infrastructure with clearly defined responsibilities
• System tested in two different environments
• Open standard based infrastructure
• Identification of key obstacles

II. Scientific:
• Implementation of modelling techniques
• Grey-box models of buildings thermal dynamics applied for load and flexibility forecasting in the Dutch aFRR case,
and in the Spanish self-optimization case in model predictive control.
• Implemented techniques for PV power forecasting and thereby demonstrated that they can run in real-time operation.
Furthermore, implementation in an OS R package.
• Contribution to several scientific articles

III. Main Innovations :
• Active participation of prosumers in DR campaigns through a marketplace
• Increase trust to extend the flexibility at the end-user premises. FLEXCoops’ underlying software architecture is built around OpenADR, that covers data privacy, security access control requirements at application level, integrating with the Open ID/OAuth2 standard.
• Innovative calculation of comfort boundaries of users in terms of visual and thermal comfort.
• Comfort preserving automated control (auto DR) of smart devices; control of smart devices fully preserving end users comfort boundaries
• DR participation in a non-intrusive manner
• Prosumer are always in control to set preferences

IV. Societal
• Strengthening the position of cooperatives in the flexibility debate. Identifying innovators and widening the circle of potential followers.
• Enabling cooperatives to important steps in the direction of implementing flexibility services (learning on technical, commercial, practical steps).
• Building on this experience and contacts made, enabled the Dutch cooperatives to launch their own initiative tailored to their needs.
• The Business Innovation Plan highlighted the various steps to be taken.
FLEXCoop Demand Respond Illustration
FLEXCoop Application
FLEXCoop Levels of Action
FLEXCoop General Illustration