TenneT has joined with sonnen, Vandebron and IBM to develop blockchain for managing the electricity grid in the Netherlands and Germany. The blockchain network is meant to integrate flexible capacity supplied by electric cars and household batteries into the electrical grid.
IBM Blockchain is the digital process of verifying and documenting the performance values of these distributed flexible energy devices. It is built with Hyperledger Fabric, a blockchain framework implementation and one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by The Linux Foundation. Blockchain is suited to connecting multiple parties and large numbers of distributed computed nodes and enabling them to undertake joint action in a scalable, transparent and trusted network. IBM will develop this platform to ensure the verifiability and transparency of the transactions of the small-scale batteries and electric cars. The blockchain is supposed to enable optimal distribution across all markets and functions. This way, TenneT will be able to gain insight and have the possibility to activate flexibility in the energy system, while consumers are facilitated in making their flexibility available to the balancing market.
TenneT will be testing this new concept in two pilot projects.
TenneT is responsible for maintaining the balance on the high-voltage grid. To guarantee a continuous supply of electricity, supply and demand have to be balanced 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In the event of imbalance between supply and demand, TenneT makes sure additional electricity is supplied or deploys reserve capacity. In this pilot project, Vandebron will work with customers who own an electric vehicle to make the capacity of their car batteries available to help TenneT balance the grid. Vandebron plans to provide this service to its customers without compromising the availability of their car battery. The blockchain enables each car to participate by recording their availability and their action in response to signals from TenneT.
Redispatch measures prevent regional overloads on the grid. This system is necessary, for example in Germany, when wind energy produced in northern Germany cannot be transported to the industrial centers in the south of the country. In this pilot project with sonnen eServices (the energy group of the Sonnen group), a network of residential solar batteries will be made available to help reduce the imposition of limitations on wind energy at times of insufficient transport capacity. The blockchain presents the operator from TenneT with a view of the available pool of flexibility, ready to activate at the push of the button, after which the blockchain records batteries' contribution. This will enable sonnen and TenneT to support the integration of renewable energy sources into the German electricity supply system.
Market parties will be informed about the pilot projects and relevant developments by means of newsletters and market consultation workshops in the Netherlands and Germany. Once the concept has been proven to work, it will be launched and the TenneT Energy Community will be open for other parties to join.