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Multi Utilities Smart Energy GRIDS

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - MUSE GRIDS (Multi Utilities Smart Energy GRIDS)

Reporting period: 2020-03-01 to 2021-06-30

Recently, the energy paradigm is shifting from big-size centralized power plants to distributed generation plants injecting power in a bi-directional power flow grid. For this reason, a new concept called SMART ENERGY SYSTEM is growing where physical networks (electricity, natural gas) and non-physical networks (mobility and citizens/communities) have to interact towards the unique purpose: reduce energy carbon footprint and guarantee an affordable power supply for everyone. MUSE GRIDS project aims to demonstrate, in real-life operational conditions, technological and non-technological solutions adapted to local urban energy grids (electricity, heating&cooling, water, gas, e-mobility) to enable maximization of local energy independence by optimized management of the production via end users’ centred control strategies, smart grid functionalities, storage and energy system integration. MUSE GRIDS consortium is composed by 19 partners from 7 EU countries coordinated by RINA-C. The objective is to test solutions while establishing mutual learning processes and providing best practice guidance for replication in other regions. As real-life results are key in a learning and development process, but also key in convincing decision makers and other relevant actors, the project level’s decisive objective is to demonstrate in two real test cases how to interconnect local energy grids, how to utilize synergies in the energy system to maximise efficiency, reduce cost, CO2 emissions and energy losses, and how to reach an affordable energy independency maximising local self-consumption based on RES. Real pilots are two different energy communities:
- municipal microgrid in a historical town on a top of a hill (OSIMO, Italy) with a District heating network, a smart water pumping system equipped with PVs aiming to optimize supply management making it more reliable also thanks to EVs;
- rural area (OUD HEVERLEE, Belgium) with houses often equipped with RES generators where to further promote flexibility assets and the engagement of local energy communities moving to an enlarged local energy community.
The interconnection of the existing networks is achieved integrating flexible technologies (EVs, electro-thermal storage, large thermal storage, batteries) and managing them via proper multi-energy Demand Side Management (DSM) driven by end-user habits. The basis of this controller is to optimise the integration and cooperation of RES production and demand predictions, storage systems management and demand response strategies. The smart control includes strategies for predictive maintenance and fault detection for a more stable grid management. Moreover, the EVs management system is developed based on three operational mode: i) -load optimization using the consumption of EV batteries charging, ii) V2H/V2B load balancing using the EV battery in order to balance the load after the DSO, iii) V2G load balancing using the EV battery in order to balance the DSO load.
Moreover, a multi-energy planning tool for EU cities is under development and will be tested to provide an assessment framework that can help energy utilities and cities make local integrated energy planning decisions on their future energy mix and investments, in correlation with national strategies and local RES potential/energy demand. Cross-cutting activities among the demo are devoted to solve technical, organizational, legal, regulatory and market-related issues and to evaluate solutions from the economic and business points of view. Each demo is bringing a specific set of challenges, technology options and energy market conditions. MUSE GRIDS wants to be a large scale and highly impact demonstration project that becomes muse for the replication of the smart energy system concept and involved green and autonomous local energy communities starting from MUSE GRIDS virtual demonstration sites in India, Israel and Spain.
During the second reporting period, the activities were focused on the development of the MUSE GRIDS Smart Controller, the installation of the technologies as well as on all the other transversal activities. At demonstration level, in Oud-Heverlee, where the main focus is on increase the stability of the grid, the DSM system architecture design has been completed as well as the installation of all the flexibility assets (power-to-heat, EV charging stations, neighborhood battery). All the models and algorithms for DSM strategies have been implemented as well. Furthermore, special attention has been paid to the user engagement strategy organizing several workshops with the local energy communities. In Osimo, the DSM system architecture has been defined including the installation of all the different flexibility assets (Power-to-heat, smart meters, EV charging station, thermal storage connected to the CHP). In both demonstrators, all the activities related to the control and automation has been concluded as well in order to start the demonstration campaign in October 2021. All the DSM strategies are currently under-testing in La Plana validation site. Moreover, the planning tool has been finalized and its fine tuning is currently on-going with Osimo and Oud-Heverlee data. Among the other transversal activities, it is worth to mention the evaluation of project impacts from a social, economic and environmental point of view through dedicated surveys to the users and LCA/LCC studies, the analysis of the legislative framework, lessons learnt evaluation, KERs definition and the on-going activities on the four virtual demosites where DSM and planning tool will be validated. Finally, activities were focused on the dissemination and communication, also in extra-EU country, for raising the awareness on the project solutions.
The ambition of MUSE GRIDS is to demonstrate a first of its kind multi-energy DSM and the integration of innovative flexibility assets towards the creation of Local Energy Communities. Multiple Energy Planning Tool for districts and microgrid is again a first of its kind innovation that is delivered starting from previous experiences. MUSE GRIDS is implementing a set of technological solutions to be tested in real-life conditions which provide an integration of different energy networks. These solutions let a maximisation of renewable energy sources in the electrical grid and the optimal management of the different grids exploiting real-time data make the system more stable and secure. Moreover, the planning tool can provide to municipalities an efficient decision support tool on how the various vectors can be integrated together towards optimizing the overall energy systems operation. All the value chain actors needed to efficiently implement the 2 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: on EU economy mobilizing investment in new H&C installation, creating jobs and new markets and on EU Policy identifying techno-economically viable scenarios to be promoted by EU policy and regulation for the energy systems decarbonization through the energy production from RES and an optimal combination of all energy vectors and for the creation of local energy communities