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Smart Building Ecosystem for Energy Communities

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - REScoopVPP (Smart Building Ecosystem for Energy Communities)

Reporting period: 2020-06-01 to 2021-11-30

By 2050, 98 million Europeans could become prosumers by joining an energy community. The REScoopVPP project combines front-runner energy communities to create the most advanced community-driven smart building ecosystem for energy communities. The ecosystem consists of a Community-driven Flexibility Box (COFY-Box) acting as smart home controller, and a set of community tools to support energy services for aggregators, ESCO’s, BRP’s and suppliers of RES.
The COFY-box will be the first truly open and collaborative building controller, based on existing open source home automation technology with more than 1.800 integrations. The COFY-box will be affordable and easy to install. Community tools will enable energy communities to become real-time asset operators by employing demand and production forecasting algorithms, a dynamic pricing module for implicit DR and an OpenADR-based explicit DR solution.
REScoopVPP solutions will undergo a large-scale experimentation in Belgium, France, Germany, Spain and the UK. The project will improve EV, PV and electric battery control, and will especially focus on the intelligent integration of thermal storage and hybrid heating solutions, capable of shifting fossil fuel consumption from legacy DHW and heating equipment to flexible renewable heat. Further attention will be given to smart plug control and the integration of equipment based on emerging EU-standards. This will improve comfort, while not adversely affecting original functionalities, quality and lifetime of the equipment.
The ecosystem of REScoopVPP has the potential to impact 375.000 customers 5 years after the project and thus trigger primary energy savings of 559 GWh/year and improve the SRI of houses by 2 steps on average. To make sure that the ecosystem is viable, REScoopVPP will establish a dedicated legal entity that can bring solutions to the market and provide citizens with a European, community-driven alternative.
The focus in the first months was creating good project foundations for business and product development. This foundational work was done in WP1. This foundational work included a legal and regulatory analysis with special focus on the new Clean Energy Package, a business analysis in which the pilot partners defined collaboratively the 12 most relevant business models, a technical part with a State-of-the-Art analysis, definition of 9 Use Cases, overall system architecture and the definition of 29 Key Performance Indicators and a pilot site formal analysis.
In WP2, WP3 and WP4 we focus on the software and hardware improvement of our solution. In WP2 we focused on legacy equipment integration, control and the flexibility potential of long and short lifecycle assets, PV panels, battery storage and EV chargers. A first themal model was implemented for integration of DHW storage systems.
WP3 focused on the development of an integrated hardware and software architecture and its deployment and real-life testing which will lead to the roll-out of v1.0 in January 2022. WP4 helps us advance in the community level with the development of energy demand and production forecasting tools, a price-based strategy for Implicit DR and the first version of the new cVPP (community Virtual Power Plant) dashboard for communities.
All the hardware and software developed will be tested in real life conditions in WP5 pilots. The work in the first 18 months included the pilot definition, a pilot site test methodology to support pilots with scientific verification of the pilot results and lastly the recruitment process with a participant questionnaire and selection based on available hardware analysis in collaboration with the technical partners. After the initial roll-out of 25 test devices, all is set for the broader roll-out of version 1.0 of the COFY-box. In total we have more than enough candidates for participation which should be sufficient to reach our goals of 150 domestic customers.
In WP6 we aim at replicating our solution and making it scalable, both in already existing pilot sites, and in new ones (preparing for full market launch and commercial uptake), as well as providing infrastructure support for the development in WP2-3-4. Main work focused on the device provisioning service (DPS) with digital twin creation, identity and user management, code management and cloud infrastructure (data-pipeline, storage & sandbox environment).
In WP7 we focus on Communication, Dissemination and Business Exploitation of the REScoopVPP solution, attracting potential early adopters and establishing and exploitation plan. Extensive work has been done on creating templates and website, on dissemination activities and pilot site communication. Also, first steps were taken on the market preparation.
The project is mostly on track to create the largest open smart home environment in Europe for and by energy communities. The social impact we are envisioning with the project are:
- Cheaper energy as we help community member in to optimize energy cost based on available cheap renewable energy
- Privacy-by-design as our solution gives the end-user all control on the use, sharing and storage of private data.
- The COFY-box is an open ecosystem with collaborative developments and an open, vendor agnostic approach so we can create communities without being locked into one vendor ecosystem.
- We believe a community as intermediate between the energy market and an end-user can create more trust in the technological driven real-time energy world.
- A community can facilitate peer-to-peer trading, sunsharing, collective self-consumption, etc. in which the community again can create a more trustable environment for the end-user.
- A community has the potential to act on energy-poverty as they can lower the barrier for people in financially tough situations to join more advanced prosumer schemes.
All-in-all, our goal is to create one ecosystem with an overall strategy to lower barriers for smarter homes that can combine different optimization strategies: self-consumption, dynamic energy prices, community balance and explicit DR actions for ancillary services.