TenneT and GreenCom Networks want to unlock flexibility potential of households to manage bottlenecks in the power grid

Published : Wednesday, June 2, 2021, 9:17 am
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The transmission system operator TenneT and GreenCom Networks ("GreenCom") are undertaking a field trial to test ways in which decentralised energy producers, consumers, and storages can be integrated to prevent bottlenecks in the transmission system (congestion management) and to balance out fluctuations in power generation and consumption (balancing power). To this end, GreenCom will consolidate the control of smart devices (such as heat pumps and electric cars) of test customers on the company's own platform and then offer these capacities on the Equigy Crowd Balancing Platform. From there, the transmission system operator TenneT can call them up if necessary. This flexibility potential from the smallest installations in households can help to reduce or prevent bottlenecks in the power grid. In this way, the GreenCom test customers can actively participate in the energy transition and benefit economically through the offered flexibility of their installations.

- Optimisation of decentralised plants for congestion management

The special feature of the pilot project is that GreenCom will contribute a large variety of flexibility options. These include not only battery storages and charging stations for electric battery cars but also heat pumps, night-storage heaters, and photovoltaic systems of different manufacturers.

One objective of the pilot project is to better understand the processes from the transmission system operator down to flexibility providers. To this end, the decentralised installations will be integrated into the virtual power plant developed by GreenCom. The requirements of the test customers (e.g., a fully charged electric car in the morning) can therefore be matched to the requirements of the transmission system. If corresponding requirements exist, the operation of the decentralised installations can be optimised so that bottlenecks in the power grid can be reduced and limitations on the feed-in of renewable power can be minimised or prevented. The blockchain-based Equigy Crowd Balancing Platform developed by a consortium of European transmission system operators will be used as the interface with TenneT's congestion management. The project is initially designed for twelve months and will then be evaluated intensively.

- Background

The development of renewable energy increasingly leads to decentralised structures in the German secondary energy distribution system. The number of small producers, storage systems and consumers will therefore increase massively in the coming years. At the same time, the high feed-in of volatile renewable energy leads to transport bottlenecks in the transmission system. In the future, increasingly less conventionally generated power from large power plants will be available to control these grid congestions and balance out fluctuations in power generation and consumption. Intelligently networked and integrated into the system service markets, the flexibility potential of millions of decentralised producers, storages and consumers can make a significant contribution to controlling the power grids.

- Use of blockchain-based technology

The provision of system services for the operating reserve market and congestion management from millions of individual installations requires a new approach to automated control and integration in the transmission system operators' processes and technical solutions by the device manufacturers. TenneT has therefore developed a cross-border blockchain-based data platform – the Equigy Crowd Balancing Platform- with a range of European transmission system operators. This platform will make it easier for millions of households in Germany and elsewhere in Europe to actively offer the flexibility of their installations, through electricity providers and manufacturers, to the system service markets for the stabilisation of the power grid. Equigy enables the automated integration and control of these installations in the processes of the grid operators and market players.

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