Press release: Austrian energy tech company cyberGRID is part of a € 36 million EU-funded project designed to bring efficient energy management within the reach of end-users.
In project InterConnect, cyberGRID’s Flexibility Management Platform plays a key role in demonstrating the importance of interoperability between energy management devices.
European R&D Project InterConnect
Project InterConnect was launched by the European Commission in October 2019 under the program „Horizon 2020“ to address the need for energy management in smart homes and buildings as a critical step into the future of a digital economy synchronized with the speed of the energy transition. Involving eleven countries, this 4-year project gathers 51 European institutions to develop and demonstrate advanced solutions for seamlessly connecting smart households and commercial sites with the electrical grid. With the goal to improve efficient energy management, project InterConnect will deliver interoperable solutions on a real-time Internet of Things (IoT) architecture.
Lead by the Portuguese R&D institution INESC TEC, this project reflects the ongoing initiative in the energy sector of becoming more user-centric and market-driven while also promoting the EU’s energy objectives. Because when digital interfaces between energy technologies are developed in this project, the sharing of energy resources becomes possible, as their underlying systems are provided the digital capabilities to “talk” to each other.
As an example of this sharing economy, a participating smart home equipped with a cloud platform processing the resident’s metering data can send information about an unused energy (i.e. available “flexibility”) in the user’s home heating system to a DSO who could then make this energy resource available in the overall electrical grid by means of a Virtual Power Plant (VPP). Both the user and the DSO would in turn see the benefit of monetary remuneration from using this service. At the heart of smart grid technology, this functionality not only helps to minimize the cost of electricity, but it also maximizes energy that has already been produced, not letting it be wasted.
Foundation: 7 large-scale pilot demonstrations
In project InterConnect, cyberGRID’s flexibility management platform facilitates the standardization of digital communication protocols, big data, and cybersecurity. A year before, at the Connectathon 2019, where several communication modules of renewable energy units were interconnected, cyberGRID’s software enabled the “translation” of digital communication with the energy distribution system and has thus successfully demonstrated the interoperability features of its proprietary technology.
To achieve a relevant testing size for the project, 7 large-scale pilots with different end-users in different countries (Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, France, Greece, Portugal, and Belgium) are currently being set up and tested to ensure the number of appliances and services used in the project are representative. The long-term objective of these pilots is to establish a real digital market setting over electrical systems, demonstrating that operational and investment costs of participating end-users are indeed being reduced. Using its award-winning Flexibility Aggregation Platform*, cyberGRID will lead efforts to connect all 7 pilot demonstrations, pool the flexibilities offered from these demos, and channel the flexibility to Transmission or Distribution System Operators. Experienced in system integration, cyberGRID’s contribution to this multi-national project will ensure a seamless digital communication between the various pilot sites.
InterConnect is about Interoperability
For smart households, the benefits are two-fold: Apart from enjoying greater control over equipment from different manufacturers, users now interconnected with truly interoperable digital communication solutions will also gain increased awareness of their energy consumption. Smart businesses, and regulators/policy-makers likewise will also benefit from the advanced solutions to become generally available on the market after the project ends in 2023: Innovative business use cases for new energy and non-energy services will prove the real-life applicability of project results.
“Interoperability in smart grids comes with evident benefits: Not only can a greater number of distributed energies be smoothly integrated into the electrical system, thereby saving energy resources. But at the end of the project, the various energy players, even households, can also reduce their electricity bill while participating in more profitable markets, sometimes even cross-border,” explains Cami Dodge-Lamm, cyberGRID’s project manager for InterConnect.
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.
For more information, please contact:
Peter Nemcek, CTO
cyberGRID GmbH & Co KG
T | +431481262611
The InterConnect project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 857237.