inteGRIDy Business Model workshop

inteGRIDy’s Push for Energy Self-Sufficiency: Lessons Learned from EU Horizon 2020 Cyprus Pilot

Dec. 9, 2019
inteGRIDy starts with a focus on integrating existing technologies to implement a smart grid distribution platform.

inteGRIDy is an EU Horizon 2020 Project that investigates how electric grids of the future could work by analyzing the results of 10 energy pilot schemes running in countries across the European Union. The pilot schemes are based on the project’s four main pillars

  • demand response.
  • smartening the distribution grid.
  • energy storage.
  • smart integration of transport-focused grid users.

inteGRIDy aims to develop what it calls "integrated Smart GRID Cross-Functional Solutions for Optimized Synergetic Energy Distribution, Utilization Storage Technologies."

From inteGRIDy’s launch in January of 2017 until inteGRIDy’s conclusion in December of 2020, a total of 30 partners in 10 countries will be working together – drawn mainly from Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Spain, United Kingdom.

Even with a total budget of EU15.8 million, inteGRIDy has some ambitious goals. inteGRIDy starts with a focus on integrating existing technologies to implement a smart grid distribution platform. Specifically, the network of inteGRIDy partners are working to offer ”smart grid energy services” for low voltage (LV) and medium voltage (MV) networks.

inteGRIDy has already built programs to provide solutions for business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) market contexts. inteGRIDy is funded by the EU in order to support demonstrations of smart grid, storage and system integration technologies, all with an eye towards an increasing share of renewables: distribution system.

inteGRIDy addresses multiple pillars: demand response; smartening the distribution grid; energy storage; smart integration of users from Transport. inteGRIDy is working a wide range of technologies: data analysis, modelling/ profiling, model-based simulation, HMI, IVPs, etc. The strategy is to embrace a complex and layered framework while pushing towards interoperable tools.

The University of Cyprus has been selected as one key inteGRIDy pilot site. It’s being transformed, with the aid of EU Horizon 2020 financing, to become a “living lab”. Currently, more than 400 kWp PV are installed both on rooftops and in terrain. Furthermore, many buildings within the university campus have Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) for controlling heating/cooling.

A large PV park (10 MWp) and a battery storage bank (7.5 MWh) are in the design stage. These are both to be installed within the university campus, enabling a microgrid to be operated. The monitoring of the microgrid will be carried out through sensors and advanced smart metering infrastructure, situated inside several nodes within the campus. The design includes a single point for collecting measurements and making control decisions.

The University of Cyprus pilot’s challenge is simple: optimal use of local resources, leading to the minimization of energy cost. This Cyprus pilot tests two use cases. The first use case is related to the operation of a grid-connected microgrid within the campus of University of Cyprus in Nicosia city. The second use case is focused on dispersed users within Cyprus island, enabling the Electricity Authority of Cyprus, the Distribution System Operator (DSO) to harness the benefits of demand-side flexibility. All selected users have a photovoltaic (PV) installation, with two separate smart metering infrastructures, thus enabling the pilot to have access to production data and consumption data. These users are dispersed within both the Nicosia region and the Larnaca region.

Both use cases are embedded in the heart of the Cyprus pilot – and both address the problems of energy communities. If successful, the proposed solutions, as offered through the pilot, allow for the sharing between and amongst the members of the energy community, taking advantage of the various synergies.

The pilot’s selected users are not supplied by the same distribution feeder. As a result of this fact, the impact of a single feeder will be examined by researchers who examine data generated by the university microgrid.

The project leaders call their approach “the Energy Community Build & Operate Solution.” It’s distributed through aggregated practices, which can be extended into what the project leaders calls “a flexible portfolio.” The aim is to manage the various elements (and thus enable the various flexibilities) of a new approach to demand response.

The pilot includes a Central Energy Management System within the university campus, which is linked to the storage management system. Both can be interfaced via open protocols within a Demand Response Optimization Engine. The solution incorporates the required components: smart sensors; real-time communications; the PV forecasting tool.

The Energy Community Build & Operate Solution helps energy communities and especially commercial entities, industrial zones, local communities. Among the package of solutions are tools to minimize energy costs by utilizing local energy resources.  By activating identified control points within the campus, the microgrid’s capabilities will be tested and examined.

The aim is to transform the University of Cyprus into a “living laboratory.” This means that the university will be aiming to use its own production of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) to cover all of its electricity needs. The DSO can take advantage of this controllable microgrid and the controllable users within Cyprus to address a variety of grid issues. These include violations of the voltage profile, grid congestion issues and power quality deterioration.

The cross-functional platform of inteGRIDy will be used to combine all the information provided by the smart metering infrastructure for RES production, for energy storage and for energy consumption. It will combine installed sensor systems within the university campus microgrid. The target is to have the microgrid increase the controllability and energy flow efficiency.

The platform provided by inteGRIDy will be utilized by a network of dispersed participants. The aim is to offer ancillary services to the DSO through tolls. This could enable a new kind of controllable demand response.  As a result, benefits might include:

1.   Creating a world-class learning environment for both teaching and research.

2.   Deepening sustainable energy expertise and capabilities.

3.   Dedicating a facility to advanced energy research and development.

Cyprus’ pilot might, if successful, will help to demonstrate how Energy Community Build & Operate Solution helps various actors -- commercial entities, industrial zones, local communities -- to minimize energy costs by utilizing local energy resources.

The primary objective of the project organizers is to see that this pilot succeeds in ways which show some concrete benefits:

  • support for sustainable energy research and development
  • support for Cyprus’ social and economic development
  • establish facilities which enable the university to become a green campus with microgrid controls --for use by grid operators who are searching for more flexible demand side management methods.

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