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MAESHA project for islands' decarbonization

Project MAESHA: clean energy for islands

CyberGrid is now collaborating with 21 partners to develop and deploy relevant solutions for the energy transition on various islands belonging to Europe. Within the H2020 program, EU-Project MAESHA is designed to decarbonize the energy systems of six islands in different geographical areas which are currently strained by their dependency on imported fossil fuels from aging power plants, negatively impacting network resilience. MAESHA was kicked off in November 2020 with the objective to integrate a large share of renewable energy systems (RES) through the development and installation of custom-made flexibility services.

Led by Technische Universität Berlin, the project will enable a higher energy independence, a better security of supply and better grid stability on these islands while reducing the costs of energy for households for a decarbonized energy future in the French island of Mayotte. Other European islands - Wallis and Futuna Islands, St Barthélémy, Canary Islands, Favignana, Gozo - will study the replicability potential.

MAESHA clean energy for islands
Photo Credit: Pixabay

More than 16 million people live on the 2400 islands of the European Union. Although the features of their environments are very diverse, they all face common challenges regarding energy supply. Indeed, due to their high dependency on imported fossil fuels, their energy sectors are extremely polluting, and the lack of interconnections often impacts the resiliency of their networks. Furthermore, the state of their power plants, often aging and lacking efficiency, results in energy costs that can be up to ten times higher for insular inhabitants than on the mainland. There is thus a great potential for Renewable Energy System on these territories, which is also shown by studies conducted by the European Commission.

The word MAESHA means "Future" in Shimaore, the local dialect of the demonstration site, the overseas French island of Mayotte.

European islands' geographical conditions often offer high production potential for either solar, wind or biomass technologies. The large penetration of RES would ensure a higher independence, a better security of supply and better grid stability while reducing the costs of energy for households.

The main objective is to develop an innovative smart platform aggregating multiple flexibility services to provide flexibility for the stabilization of the electricity grid on islands. An open, central Flexibility Management and Trading Platform (FMTP) will be developed where different technologies can offer their flexibility such as Demand Response flexibility from industrial, decentralized RES plants and residential consumers, flexibility sources like RES and distributed generation (e.g. CHP), heat/cold networks, several scales and types of storage, and combinations with the transport system through charging points for emobility.

This platform will be technology and vendor-agnostic and able to provide as much flexibility as possible to island’s energy grids. The solutions will be developed at several scale including full island, regional and local energy community levels, to extract flexibility at every level and ensure efficient synergies among flexibility resources. This will enable a larger penetration of renewable energies for island-scale or local consumption schemes, while maintaining grid stability, by compensating the main limitations of these technologies, lower grid inertia due to fading out of large fossil fuel generators, intermittency of variable RES and lack of power control.

Tailored market designs and flexibility products will also be developed to be adapted to the particular context of islands, where the market is often reduced and lacks liquidity, and the electricity sector is vertically integrated. A specific subobjective is to support the involvement of the energy demand side, namely electric vehicle charging, residential demand response, industrial demand response and flexibility services from renewables in line with the European Commission “Clean energy package for all” regulatory framework.

CyberNoc VPP's contribution to the project

The flexibility management platform CyberNoc, which was developed by CyberGrid, will be enhanced to include new flexibility solutions and adapt to island context. As the project’s Technical Manager, CyberGrid will lead the development of island-specific and vertically integrated utility specific functions with the purpose of enabling the island Mayotte’s DSO to efficiently manage the island’s electric flexibilities. Aggregated by multiple systems, these flexibilities shall be combined into the specifically developed central Flexibility Management and Trading Platform (FMTP) that is able to provide ancillary services (AS) to the DSO (Electricité de Mayotte).

These flexibilities can then be utilized for different grid purposes (frequency, voltage, congestion, etc.). Novel flexibility matching and coupling algorithms, GUI and integration with different aggregation systems (e.g. RES VPP, C&I DR, BESS, Community, EV charging etc.) and DSO systems (e.g. HES, SCADA etc.) will be developed, tested and demonstrated. The utilization and monetization of flexibilities will be based on the island distribution grid operational needs and requirements. These will be achieved by defining data management and cybersecurity concepts, followed by deployments of aggregation toolbox for connection to local devices and systems, management and trading platform. As a result, CyberGrid’s contribution to the project will help these islands to shift from fossil fuels to clean energy.

With these activities, MAESHA is expected to reach up to 70% penetration with renewable energies and reach more than 90% of Mayotte’s population. The close collaboration between local energy utilities, communities, modelers and flexibility solutions providers will enable MAESHA to improve the energy situation on remote islands with the final objective to operate on the greatest amount of clean energy as possible.

Read more about MAESHA

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the grant agreement N° 957843.

Author: Nicole Klyma
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