Demo Project 7: Community Grids

Enable the future: Start small and grow big with renewable energy and flexibility trading by using virtual microgrids.

Vision (DP07) in a nutshell

DP07 connects buildings or resource owners who wish to participate in the Community Grid and are able to offer production of energy, and/or flexibility from their production or consumption. The Community Grid shows how a distributed positive energy block (DPEB) can enable demand response, balance and optimise energy, ensure disturbance-neutrality, shift loads, and shave peaks. This will enable the DPEB to maximise the available renewable energy production while creating a market for energy trading and flexibility.

Problem addressed & specific objective

Microgrids are designed to provide resilience, i.e. islanding which allows for fast recovery in the event of a black-out or other disturbance event. In order for a microgrid to operate, all buildings within its boundary must be connected to the microgrid. As connection to the microgrid is typically not voluntary, this raises a question regarding replicability and scalability of the microgrid. 

The +CityxChange Community Grid can address this problem. The +CityxChange Community Grid is a group of grid-connected electrical resources, within a clearly defined electrical boundary in the distribution system (e.g. sub-station), with a single defined logical connection point to the grid. The main advantage of the +CityxChange Community Grid approach is that although the Community Grid is limited to a defined electrical boundary, participation within that boundary is voluntary. As such, the Community Grid can begin with a small number of building/asset owners and expand and evolve over time.

Related +CityxChange solutions

Community Grid Technology:

Community Grid Technology connects Community Grid participants into the local energy network (grid). The infrastructure enables two-way communication between each part of the Community Grid and empowers final consumers to actively participate in a local energy/flexibility market with their available assets and flexibility. It gives the necessary technical foundation for utilising the consumer centric approach in smart grid applications without disturbing the outer power grid (it is disturbance neutral).

Grid optimization and balancing tools:

The Grid optimization and balancin toolkit consists of three tools that are developed as prototypes by three companies, IES, MPOWER and Powel. The tools are developed to propose the most cost-effective design of an area within the scope to become a PEB. The calculations have precise consequences for the local grid topology for day ahead operations. Forecasts of generation and load in each connection point are calculated and identify precisely how the local resources will influence the local grid. Energy storage including e-mobility resources with V2G is a part of these evaluations. 

Device wallet:

The IOTA Device Wallet brings together key concepts required to have a secure data and value exchange. The technology provides data transparency and peer-to-peer transactions able to open new business models for autonomous processes between devices, secured with decentralised identities, and data anchored in the Distributed Ledger Technology. The Device Wallet uses decentralised identities and verifiable credentials in order to allow trusted authentication of Smart Link Units (SLUs) and Energy Meters in P2P energy markets. The digital device wallet is a UI framework based on the Self-sovereign identities, Audit Trail, and Distributed ledger technology, created to allow seamless generation of the identities for devices, access to a devices’ data, and monetization (tokenization) features. 

PED Grid Design toolbox:

The PED Grid Design toolbox is an integrated tool for design, analysies and grid operation of a local energy system including use of storage and grid balancing. The models in the toolbox include reports presented as dashboards/tables with results of calculations. It also includes topology descriptions of the local grid which is a part of the community grid and/or PEB. The calculated results are easily exported to third parties for further processes and tasks like settlement and invoice. The eMobility is managed as local energy storage and is included as local energy resources with information represented like time series in the same way as other local resources and/or forecasts

Recommendations for cities:

  • A very important part of the implementation is the engagement of the key stakeholders, Citizens, Building Owners and Prosumers. The success of a PED project relies on that in many ways.
  • Scale is required for the approach to be economically viable and to be technically successful.