Winning Projects


Project Title: Smart Grids and Smart Communities Demonstration Project

Project Location: Slovenia

Lead Organization: New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)

Partner Organization: ELES, d.o.o.  Hitachi, Ltd.



The “Smart Grids and Smart Communities Demonstration Project” being carried out by New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), ELES, d.o.o. and Hitachi, Ltd aims to highly digitalize the power distribution systems in Slovenia to contribute to solving energy issues faced by Slovenia and other European countries. This project has been run across many locations in the country and called a national project by the government of Slovenia.


The massive integration of renewable energy into the grids could make it difficult to maintain the quality of electricity, and there will be a shortage of reserved power due to the reduction of thermal power plants to tackle climate change. In anticipation of those future challenges, this project was launched through the partnership between Japan and Slovenia to maintain and improve the quality of power supply and to achieve cost-effective facility management by utilizing Hitachi’s advanced ICT.


The objectives of this project are as follows.

1) To provide flexibility to transmission system operators. Transmission system operators become able to utilize the demand side’s resources effectively when the power grid is digitalized and interactive communication systems between transmission system operators and consumers are developed.

2) To mitigate voltage fluctuation and increase the hosting capacity in the power grid for renewable energy as well as to offer stable and high-quality power supply services through visualization of the distribution systems and optimal voltage control.

3) To demonstrate value-added services that contribute to stable power supply to consumers by linking energy management systems with battery storage energy systems and the demand side’s resources. Such technologies enable us to offer ancillary services, operate stand-alone microgrids during wide-area power outages and mitigate instantaneous voltage dips.


This project has presented multiple solutions to current and anticipated issues by integrating the existing infrastructure with advanced ICT. Key achievements and expected future benefits are as follows.

1) Electricity consumption of households participated in the project reduced by 3% on average. The energy-saving effect was achieved because those households positively responded to grid operators’ request for peak-cut. Also, the electricity network tariffs reduced by 5% as a result of flexible grid operation through peak-shift control. The profit was returned to the consumers.

2) The deviation from appropriate voltage reduced by over 80% through optimal control of grid voltage, increasing the hosting capacity of the power grid for renewable energy by over 50%.

3) This project is installing battery energy storage systems (total capacity of 5MW). This system is expected to provide a new business model and value-added services by halving the damage inflicted on large consumers such as factories from instantaneous voltage dips, developing an islanding system (autonomous operation during grid failures) that would work during wide-area power outages, and providing over 1MW of tertiary control reserve.


Applying the most advanced technology in pursuit of stable energy supply, this project would benefit not only grid operators but also all the consumers connected to the grid. This project has confirmed that electricity tariffs would decrease when consumers positively respond to peak-cut requests from grid operators, making it possible for grid operators to procure flexibility cost-effectively. Those outcomes have presented the possibility of creating a virtuous circle between consumers and grid operators. As previously mentioned, integrating grid operation with distributed resources such as battery energy storage systems with ICT and demonstrating technology to offer new value-added services, this project continues to pursue a further stable and reliable energy supply mechanism for consumers. We firmly believe the achievements through this project would be recognized as an excellent smart grid technology and present solutions to issues faced by not only Slovenia but also other European countries, leading to economic and social benefits to those countries.



Project Title: Future Flow

Project Location: Slovenia, Austria, Hungary, Romania

Lead Organization: ELES,d.o.o.

Partner Organization: 3E SA, Austrian Power Grid, C.N.T.E.E. Transelectrica S.A:, cyberGRID GmbH &Co KG, Elektroenergetski koordinacioni centar Ltd, Elektro Ljubljana d.d., Elektroinštitut Milan Vidmar, GEN-I d.o.o., MAVIR ZRt., SAP SE, THALES DIS France SA,



Europe’s low carbon strategy states that nearly 100 % of the electric energy should come from renewable sources by 2050. To fulfil this quest for low carbon society the energy producers, retailers and grid operators must be prepared and supported with new energy sources, advanced technologies and procedures which must be already proven in practice and economically viable for wide usage.

The FutureFlow project fulfilled this quest by providing solutions for aFRR (automatic Frequency Restoration Reserve) balancing and re-dispatching services Europe-wide with the inclusion of distributed and renewable resources (DR/DGs). In that manner all players in the electricity value chain are included: from TSOs, retailers, ICT providers, research institutions and especially active prosumers which are becoming the guardians of the power systems. Since the demand for energy is growing and flexibility services must be provided in order to keep system’s stability in place with regards to providing energy from clean sources (i.e. renewables), a new approaches to provide system’s flexibility had to be established.


Four European TSOs from Austria, Hungary, Romania and Slovenia, associated with power system experts, electricity retailers, IT providers and renewable electricity providers, designed a unique regional cooperation scheme for opening balancing and re-dispatching markets to new sources of flexibility and supporting such sources to act on such markets competitively. Thanks to a prototype aggregation solution and renewable generation forecasting techniques, flexibility providers – distributed generators (DG) and commercial and industrial (C&I) consumers providing demand response (DR) – are enabled, through retailers acting as flexibility aggregators, to provide competitive offers for frequency restoration reserve (including secondary control activated with a response time between 30 seconds and 15 minutes).


A comprehensive techno-economic model for the cross-border integration of such services involves a common activation function (CAF) tailored to congested borders and optimized to overcome critical intra-regional barriers. The resulting CAF was implemented into a prototype regional balancing and re-dispatching platform, securely integrated within the four TSOs’ IT systems. Use cases of growing complexity were pilot tested, going from the involvement of DR/DGs into national balancing markets to cross-border competition between flexibility aggregators. Participating C&I consumers and DGs were able to secure 50MW of flexibility. Impact analyses of the pilot tests together with dissemination activities towards all the stakeholders of the electricity value chain will show recommendation business models and deployment roadmaps for the most promising use cases, which, in turn, contribute to the practical implementation of the European Balancing Target Model by 2020.


FutureFlow showed the potential to save 23 % of aFRR energy by the integration of flexibility markets in these 4 countries compared to the local mode operation of those four power systems. A further shift of the fossil-fuel technology to DR/DGs represents a significant step towards our independence from fossil fuels and the achievement of challenging CO2 goals.



Honorable Mention


Project Title: Digitizing the Customer Experience with Real-Time Control

Project Location: London Ontario Canada

Lead Organization: London Hydro



As a part of the Ontario Energy Board’s (OEB) Regulated Price Plan Roadmap initiative, London Hydro was selected by the OEB to run a pilot program that tested behind-the-meter technology designed to give greater consumer control and help Ontario’s power system run more efficiently. This was accomplished by encouraging consumers to reduce their use or shift their use away from peak demand time using pricing mechanisms as well as through automatized device control during 36 high-demand events. London Hydro was the first Local Distribution Company (LDC) to implement a customer engagement program that combined quick ramping demand response events and behind-the-meter energy management tools powered by Green Button which helped customers understand energy impacts in real-time.


As a part of this project, London Hydro developed the mobile app Trickl with a goal to digitize the customer experience and upgrade it to an instantaneous and personalized level. Trickl consolidated in-home device control and real-time energy monitoring with energy efficiency advice and demand response in one single app. Participants also had devices installed in their hone that allowed London Hydro to reduce impact on the grid during times of high-demand by controlling the connected devices.


This year-long program was implemented in May of 2018 for approximately 1,600 participants which were divided into three observation groups, Real-Time (RT), Critical Peak Pricing (CPP-Only), and Critical Peak Pricing with Real-Time (CPP+RT). Ramping up for the pilot took a year to confirm all technology and information systems were properly tested and functioning as expected to ensure a smooth transition into the program for customers. Three major milestones regarding implementation included: Requirements – Setup of project structure leveraging market leading software for agile development, Architecture – Setup and integration of cloud components with CIS Systems, App Development – Agile, iterative mobile development for iOS and Android systems.


Result of the pilot program indicate that significant energy-saving occurred only in the summer. This is likely because summer discretionary loads are much larger than winter discretionary loads.

CPP participants reduced their daily summer: On-Peak consumption by approximately 5% on average, Mid-Peak consumption by approximately 3% on average. Real-Time participants reduced their daily summer On-Peak consumption by just over 2%.


Due to the limited notice of CPP Events, participants would reduce their usage during the hours in which events were likely to occur in order to avoid exposure to the higher rate. There behavioural changes resulted in the majority of energy savings for CPP participants occurring during non-event hours.


A surprising result was that disconnected participants still delivered demand response. For any given event, approximately 20% of participants’ devices could not receive, or respond to, London Hydro’s curtailment signal. These participants were still able to, on average, with only 15 minutes notice, reduce demand by 0.2 kW each without the program-deployed enabling technologies.


The participants’ strong understating of the parameters of their pilot program can be attributed to the on-boarding and customer engagement strategies employed by London Hydro. The strategies implemented ensured full understand and compliance for their customers, empowering their decision-making, especially where automated load control was to occur. Since the launch of the pilot, Trickl has been expanded to include water and gas usage for a number of applicable pilot participants and will be released to all 150,000 residential London Hydro customers in 2020/2021.


back to top