Last month, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, sustainability legend Gro Harlem Brundtland, and 150 VIP guests celebrated the first concrete outcome at Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: The launch of Sustainia100. Sustainia announced that PowerMatching City, the world's first total-concept smart grid deployment project, has been chosen for this list of solutions.
PowerMatching City – a live smart grid project involving 25 households in the Hoogkerk district in the northern part of the Netherlands – has demonstrated that it is possible to create a smart grid with a corresponding market model, using existing technologies. The system enables consumers to freely exchange electricity and keeps the comfort level up to par. The 25 homes were connected with each other as part of the trial and equipped with micro combined heat and power systems (High Efficiency boilers), hybrid heat pumps, smart meters, PV panels, charging stations for electric vehicles and other smart household appliances. These homes collectively constitute a smart energy system.
The project is conducted by distribution system operator Enexis, energy company Essent, gas infrastructure company Gasunie, system integrator ICT Automatisering and knowledge institute TNO, led by energy consulting and testing & certification firm DNV KEMA Energy & Sustainability. Knowledge partners of PowerMatching City are Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology and Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen.
In view of the successful results, the project has been continued and expanded. This follow-up phase is focusing more on the effects of the expansion (from 25 to approximately 70 households), consumer involvement (via an interactive interface) and the effect of the introduction of real-life propositions to the customer, developed by the energy company.