At the E-REDES Annual Event in Porto, cyberGRID’s Cami Dodge-Lamm participated in an expert panel, discussing “Flexibility in Action”, and the benefits of seamless communication between flexibility assets.
E-REDES, the Portuguese national DSO with more than 6 million customers organized their annual event in May 2022. Entitled “Real Progress Along the Road to Flexibility”, this event highlighted the work being developed in various European-wide projects with the purpose of tackling the challenges posed by the growing demand for energy. Gathering 300 people from 164 entities, the event focused on facilitating technical dialogue between the project representatives and on offering real-life insights from experts in the electricity industry.
InterConnect: Large-scale project in the European Innovation Action Plan
As a consortium member of the € 36 million EU-funded project InterConnect, which is designed to bring efficient energy management within the reach of end-users, Austrian energy tech company cyberGRID was invited to participate in this event at the E-REDES headquarters in Porto, and to speak about solving the difficulties of non-standardized IT communications protocols as used in energy systems today.
cyberGRID’s technological expertise in flexibility assets
At the E-REDES event, cyberGRID’s Head of European Public Affairs and Regulation, Cami Dodge-Lamm took part in the expert panel “Flexibility in Action”, discussing the critical relevance of interoperability with regards to flexibility asset communication. In her role as Project Manager of cyberGRID’s contribution to the InterConnect project, she asserted that flexibility assets, and accompanying equipment and systems, must be able to seamlessly communicate, regardless of the manufacturer and state of legacy. This not only benefits asset operators, retailors, and suppliers, she affirmed, but also the end-user.
Data exchanges between different flexibility sources must be enabled without the need for changing of devices, she stressed. In InterConnect, cyberGRID is providing its state-of-the-art flexibility tools and contributing its expertise on flexibility data exchanges and markets to make the seamless communication between technological equipment possible.
Project InterConnect works on interoperable solutions connecting smart homes, buildings and grids. Photo: INESC TEC
Challenges concerning assets communication
In order to achieve lower GHG emissions, the EU has established the directive to arrive at zero net emissions by the year 2050. The focus from the European Commission is clear: Demand-side flexibility is a critical driver to cleaning up the grid. Now with the growing share of renewables in the system, raising system flexibility and interoperability between flexibility assets is key. Any amount of flexibility, even small loads can represent additional assets to electricity service providers, and can help to satisfy the growing demand for flexibility in Europe.
However, standard communication channels are currently not in place yet. On the panel, Ms. Dodge-Lamm proposed that in order to aggregate greater amounts of flexibility, it can be efficient and useful to pool them into an intermediate platform, which in turn can exchange data with electricity service providers.
The innovation potential from InterConnect is significant. In this project, cyberGRID’s Flexibility Management Platform plays a key role in demonstrating the advantages of interoperability and cross-border data exchanges through its interaction with energy management platforms and devices throughout Europe.
Cami Dodge-Lamm, cyberGRID’s Project Manager for InterConnect
cyberGRID’s Cami Dodge-Lamm presenting the features of the overarching architecture developed in InterConnect. Photo: E-REDES
cyberGRID’s technological expertise in project InterConnect
Using its proprietary Flexibility Aggregation Platform in InterConnect, cyberGRID will lead technological efforts to deploy a service that enables cross-border exchanges of flexibility information.
The Austrian cleantech company and EVN subsidiary is developing the overarching demonstration to connect the data layers of multiple large-scale pilots in European cities, involving end-consumers. Project Manager Dodge-Lamm adds that cyberGRID is working with InterConnect partners to develop a flexibility service-specific adaptor and to demonstrate the advantages of using cross-border flexibility data exchanges.
Within the scope of the development efforts lead by cyberGRID, flexibility enablers and associated constraints will be defined, namely: standardized flexibility products with bids structure and information, activation triggers, setpoints, measurements, and verification of service delivery.
By bringing the InterConnect framework-enabled controllers to the market, cyberGRID is directly supporting the advancement of flexibility markets and interoperable solutions through the InterConnect project, said Dodge-Lamm. The framework and SSA will be used as means to tap into available flexibilities across the different pilots throughout Europe, then monetized on a simulated ancillary services market.
cyberGRID’s flexibility management platform enables the integration of renewable energies and battery storage systems by means of a virtual power plant (VPP). This technology plays a major role in Europe’s efforts towards a carbon-neutral energy transition.
Photo Credits: E-REDES and INESC TEC
Authors: Cami Dodge-Lamm and Nicole Klyma