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Pro-sumer AwaRe, Transactive Markets for Valorization of Distributed flexibilITY enabled by Smart Energy Contracts

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PARITY (Pro-sumer AwaRe, Transactive Markets for Valorization of Distributed flexibilITY enabled by Smart Energy Contracts)

Reporting period: 2019-10-01 to 2021-03-31

The PARITY project addresses the “structural inertia” of Distribution Grids (DGs) by delivering a transactive flexibility framework that will increase durability and efficiency of the electrical grid, while simultaneously enabling the adoption of more Renewable Energy Sources (RES), through enhanced real time control of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) flexibility combined with novel Active Network Management functionalities. PARITY will deliver a local flexibility management platform through the seamless integration of Internet of Things (IoT) and Blockchain technologies. By delivering a smart-contract enabled market platform based on blockchain technology, PARITY will facilitate the efficient deployment of local micro-transactions and reward flexibility in a cost-reflective and symmetric manner, through price signals of higher spatio-temporal granularity based on real-time grid operational conditions. Moreover, by deploying advanced IoT technology, PARITY will offer distributed intelligence (DER profiling) and self-learning/self-organization capabilities (automated real-time distributed control), orchestrated by cost reflective flexibility market signals generated by the blockchain Local Flexibility Market platform (LFM platform). Within PARITY, DER will form dynamic clusters that essentially comprise self-organized networks of active DER nodes, engaging in real-time aggregated & P2P energy/flexibility transactions. The PARITY project aims to enable the set-up and operation of local flexibility markets at the distribution network level via the use of the following technology solutions: (1) A smart contract enabled, blockchain-based LFM platform, (2) IoT enabled DER Flexibility management tools - both in a peer-to-peer distributed fashion, but also through a centralized aggregator, and (3) Smart Grid monitoring and management tools for the Distribution System Operator. Additional objectives of the project are the investigation of market coupling mechanisms, the definition of LFM actors and the associate business models, the development of innovative retail energy commercial arrangements and contracts, and policy reform recommendations to shape the regulatory frameworks that will enable LFM creation in a financially sustainable manner.
In the reporting period, project activities were related to user & system requirements definition, software prototypes design and development as well as preliminary integration activities coupled with relevant dissemination & exploitation efforts. In particular, PARITY has analyzed applicable business cases and use cases that revealed the potential of PARITY framework to provide benefits for all different actors involved (D3.1). Pilot site audits that were performed (D3.2) helped to identify already available equipment and further needs at each site. In addition, a Performance Measurement and Verification (PMV) methodology has been defined after examining best practices in the literature, in order to be followed during the evaluation stage (D3.3). With regard to the Local Flexibility Markets (LFMs), various aspects have been explored. In particular, barriers that hinder LFM proliferation were identified and categorized (D4.1) latest LFM technologies were reviewed (D4.3) and an investigation of LFM market models was performed. That work has led to the design and specification of PARITY LEM/LFM market platform, which is driven by varying electricity prices and the traffic light concept that is used to describe the current or forecasted grid network state. Moreover, several business models involving the aggregators, market operators, and Distribution System Operators (DSOs) have been defined (D4.4). Based on system requirements and defined use cases, the overall system architecture has been delivered along with the description of each component (D3.5) as well as the selected measures to ensure privacy and security, such as pseudonymization, authentication, use of encryption and secure protocols (D3.4). The specifications of PARITY Oracle have been defined for effective integration of the IoT network and the Blockchain platform (D5.1). Additionally, specifications of other key components for market operation such as the Blockchain Agent and off-chain components, have been defined (D5.2 D5.3). First versions of smart contracts have been developed and feasibility of the approach has been validated in a simple scenario which integrates IoT and Blockchain (D5.4). Initial data models have been defined in JSON format to describe assets, users, Service Level Agreements, and all other entities required for the operation of the market platform, in order to enhance interoperability. On grid level, the Smart Grid Monitoring and Active Network Management functionalities of the DSO toolkit (D6.3) and STATCOM device (D6.2) have been described in accordance with the traffic light concept applied, as well as their interfaces. Internal testing of the initial versions of the software modules is ongoing. Towards the optimization of flexibility management, a Power-to-Heat model, and algorithms for generating Distributed Energy Resource (DER) models and occupancy estimation/forecasting models have been developed (D7.2). In terms of communication and dissemination, a detailed plan has been defined and communication channels have been established, such as presence of the project in social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube) (D9.2). Partners have participated in several conferences and workshops in order to disseminate the achievements of the project (D9.3) and also in activities of the BRIDGE initiative. Lastly, the first version of the project exploitation and business innovation plan was realized (D10.3).
PARITY aims to go beyond state of the art on multiple aspects. Firstly, a smart contract-enabled energy and flexibility market platform has been designed, allowing both peer-to-peer energy trading among prosumers within the Local Energy Market, and flexibility trading by involving the DSO and the Aggregator actors and supported by the PARITY system architecture. A key point is the automated validation of energy/flexibility scheduling which is facilitated through the monitoring capabilities of the Oracle component and the defined representation of Service Level Agreements. Another important aspect is the automated discovery and provision of flexibility through the use of the IoT platform and models, such as the human-centric Power-to-Heat model and Electric Vehicle load and flexibility forecasting model. Moreover, Smart Grid Monitoring and Active Network Management functionalities have been developed within the DSO toolset, and along with the DER dispatch module and STATCOM device will contribute to improved grid stability. With regard to expected potential impact, added value will be provided by the PARITY platform to prosumers, local aggregators and DSOs, enhancing the PARITY unique selling propositions. R&D results for the first 18 months of the project have been reported in scientific publications and through participation in events.