The creation of local electricity markets to promote the prosumer role in Smart Grids is no longer just an idea, but also the main objective of EMPOWER. The project addresses the topic: Modernizing the European electricity grid: LCE 7 – 2014: Distribution grid and retail market of the call Competitive Low-Carbon Energy of the HORIZON 2020 work program 2014-2015.
Aiming to develop and verify a local market place and innovative business models, including operational methods, the project encourages micro-generation and the active participation of prosumers to exploit flexibility created for the benefit of all connected to the local grid.
The EMPOWER project started in January 2015. It is divided into nine work packages, being developed simultaneously to allow the conceptualization and construction of the ICT platform that will enable the flexible operation of grids, introduced by renewable power generation and prosumers participation. The market concept being developed is organized around a community of consumers, prosumers and regular small-scale suppliers operating micro generators. Also, storage and the advantage of cross-market operations are included. The local market is managed by a Smart Energy Service Provider (SESP) through the cloud based ICT platform.
The EMPOWER concept aims to encourage and enable the active participation of citizens who consume and produce energy in the electrical system. It is based on the insight that a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and an increase of energy efficient appliances require radical changes in the way we produce, consume and manage energy resources. The goal of EMPOWER is therefore to develop an entirely new energy market in Europe where consumers can buy and sell locally produced energy from solar panels, micro wind turbines and other decentralized energy production, as well as offering flexible load to relieve central and regional infrastructure. This will be demonstrated and tested in three pilot site cities across Europe – in Germany, Norway and Malta.
Press play to see the short movie of the EMPOWER concept explained
To ensure the desired operation of local energy markets, the SESP ICT platform is being developed by eSmart Systems with integrations towards SCADA and local controllers at a house hold level. The ICT platform facilitates the exchange of data and control commands between the SESP, and the Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) in the local grid to ensure minimum cost of operation. The proposed IT architecture for the SESP platform is based on Microsoft Azure cloud, computing Big Data PaaS solutions, minimizing communication and data duplication overheads and at the same time improving flexibility and maintainability of the system. Several types of data are being stored in the platform; from dynamic metering data to static configuration data and customer data. The data is presented in real-time, in addition to calculating predictions in Machine Learning models and executing optimization models.
EMPOWER is not only a project compromised of a sustainable energy future, but also an example of synergy among industry and university. The consortium is constituted by very diverse entities:
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program, under Grant Agreement No. 646476.
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