Netherlands: PowerMatching City
|Project Title||PowerMatching City|
|Location||Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands|
|Time Period of Project||2007-2014|
|Link to Project Website||www.dnvgl.com/powering-the-future|
|Key Word||demand side management, Smart Meter, , demand response, distributed generation, multigoal optimization|
PowerMatching City’s aim is to enable the transition from centralized fossil fuel based power production to decentralized sustainable power production, by developing and demonstrating a smart energy infrastructure with related customer-focused smart energy services, as well as by validating the costs and benefits of such a system in practice. The project stafted in 2007 as a 3 year EU demonstration project (EU FP6-038576). Phase ll (Sept 2011 – Sept 2014) is part of the Dutch lPlN program (intelligent network programme, see also http://www.rvo.nl/subsidies-regelingen/intelligente-netten). Within PowerMatching City, consumers, energy supplier and grid operator are equally important and cooperate to actively balance the demand for and supply of energy in the grid. A multi-goal optimization algorithm has been developed to balance all stakeholders’ needs.
The project focuses on enabling end-users, energy suppliers and grid operators to benefit from a smart energy infrastructure. To this extent, a local energy market has been created, that uses dynamic energy and transport capacity prices. The local market is coupled to the national energy market and integrated in existing wholesale processes. Peak loads in the grid can be actively managed by influencing energy demand and supply in the participating households. The project is unique in the way it engages and empowers customers to become active prosumers. ln a co-creation process with the participants, energy supplier, technology providers and grid operator, two new customer energy services have been developed that make optimal use of possibilities of a smart infrastructure. The first service enables users to create a self-supporting energy community. The second service focuses on reducing electricity costs by applying an optimal buying and selling strategy on the local energy market.
Figure. Optimization Goal of Power Matching City
Customer interaction is key in this project. During the course of the project, quarterly information sessions were organized and multiple surveys were submitted aimed at getting a profound understanding of customer drivers and needs. This information was used to create an interactive energy management system, the Energy Monitor. This is an integral platform for smart energy services, which not only educates users about their smart appliances and their energy use, but also helps them to meet their personal energy targets. The user focus of the project was reflected by the fact that all of the participants volunteered for phase 2.
The project was set up with large scale replication in mind. USEF (Universal Smart Energy Framework (www.usef.org)) guidelines were consulted for the design of the smart grid. Cloud computing was used for easy expansion. The control mechanism for the local energy market is based on distributed intelligence and can be scaled up easily. Smart appliances were developed in cooperation with manufacturers to create market-ready solutions. Cost-benefit analyses are made to determine market potential.
PowerMatching City is an internationally recognised lighthouse project that demonstrates our future energy system in an existing neighborhood in Groningen, the Netherlands. This project is a typical example of what democratizing the energy market looks like in real-life. lt gives a practical and replicable example of how a more sustainable energy future can be achieved using existing energy infrastructures.
The forty participants of PowerMatching City are people like you and me. With help of a fully integrated smart energy system, they are inspired and empowered to become active energy prosumers. The system enables them to control where and when they want to buy or sell energy. A home energy management system with smart apps educates them about the status and meaning of their energy use, and helps them to save energy and reduce costs. The smart system controls the indoor climate in their homes and charges their electric vehicles in time, providing them with an enhanced level of comfort. The user’s comfort and freedom of choice is of primary concern and is always guaranteed.
Central and local energy systems are equally important in this smart city. Multiple stakeholders, including energy suppliers, network operators and consumers, cooperate to actively balance the demand for and supply of energy in the grid. PowerMatching City’s main goal is to pinpoint and quantify the added value of a smart energy infrastructure to these stakeholders. The results of these analyses are used to enable and accelerate a large scale roll-out of smart grids.
Figure. PowerMatching City
The added value of smart
Upgrading a power system to a smart energy system potentially brings a variety of benefits to different stakeholders. PowerMatching City’s main goal is to demonstrate and quantify the added value of a smart energy infrastructure to energy producers, distributors and end-users. For each stakeholder, a smart energy system brings different benefits. To quantify the effectiveness of the applied smart grid solution in managing required transport capacity, peak-power consumption is measured at a transformer level. PowerMatching City’s energy supplier has developed a new wholesale system based on real-time electricity prices, and has developed two new energy services for their clients. The first service enables users to share electricity and create a self-supporting, sustainable energy community. The second service focusses on reducing electricity costs by applying an optimal buying and selling strategy on the local energy market.
Figure. New Energy Services for Smart City Users
A total solution
When people talk about smart grids, what they often really refer to is advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) technologies. The smart energy system of PowerMatching City however goes much further than this. It is a total solution, that combines smart technologies like AMI, distributed intelligence, grid capacity management, near real-time wholesale processes and customer energy services in a real-life environment. Using PowerMatcher technology, a local energy market has been created. This local market is connected to the national power exchange using an auctioneer service. In this way, local and central energy supply systems can supplement each other. This generates the required flexibility to be able to integrate large shares of renewable energy in our energy systems, both at a central as well as at a local level. A multi-goal optimisation algorithm is used to balance the needs of the energy supplier, grid operator and end-user simultaneously. In this way, freedom of choice can be guaranteed while keeping peak loads in the grid within reasonable boundaries. The homes in PowerMatching City are outfitted with a variety of smart appliances that can be monitored and controlled by the user’s smart energy system. These appliances range from smart washing machines to intelligent heating systems and smart thermostats. Gas-fuelled appliances ensure the integration of gas and electricity on a household level. By using local heat buffers to store any surplus of heat for use at a later moment in time, the system creates flexibility for managing peak loads in electricity demand. An advanced home energy management system makes optimal use of the smart infrastructure by bringing more insight, control and automation to the users with custom smart energy services.
Engaging people: smart & green without hassle
PowerMatching City’s inhabitants are ordinary people, who live ordinary lives. Although they volunteered to take part in the project, they do not want to be bothered with their energy use all the time. The users want to save energy and contribute to the smart grid, but not to the point where it hinders their comfort or increases their energy costs. Guaranteeing comfort and reducing energy costs have been key starting points in the design of PowerMatching City. The system always ensures the user’s comfort. It automatically manages smart appliances based on current electricity prices. The system can always be overruled by a user; devices can always start when a user wants them to. Depending on the user’s personal energy service, the system strives for the lowest energy costs or the largest share of locally produced electricity, without the need for any input. In this way, PowerMatching City’s inhabitants are contributing to an extraordinary green and affordable energy future, whilst living a very ordinary and comfortable life.
PowerMatching City’s main goal is to demonstrate and quantify the added value of a smart energy infrastructure to energy producers, distributors and end-users. The project’s outcomes are best-practices for building a smart grid, cost-benefit analyses for all stakeholders, and replicable technical solutions for building, managing and mon¡toring a smart grid. Also, innovative apps for user education and interaction have been developed. To ensure a private and secure infrastructure, the Universal Smart Energy Framework (USEF) has been consulted as a guideline for developing the smart grid. The project is currently in its data-collection phase. To quantify the impact of the applied solution in managing required transport capacity, power consumption is measured at a transformer level. PowerMatching City’s energy supplier has developed a new wholesale system based on real-time electricity prices and two new energy services. The first service enables users to share electricity and create a self-supporting sustainable energy community.
Figure. Real-time information through street display
The second service focuses on reducing electricity costs by applying an optimal buying and selling strategy on the local energy market. To date, PowerMatching City has been a great success. The applied smart technologies add flexibility to the electricity grid and at the same time increase the overall comfort for end-users. The developed control mechanism can be expanded as needed as it is based on distributed intelligence. The total system acts as a virtual power plant that can produce electricity using combined heat and power units and can consume electricity using heat pumps. Preliminary results show that this virtual power plant responds quickly and correctly to fluctuating demands on the energy market. Consumer feedback has been positive. The smart grid offers tangible benefits, including more control for users over their energy use, the ability to live a greener lifestyle and cost savings. The participants indicate that they have become much more aware of energy in their daily lives. They form a community, both in the digital and in the real-world, which is pro-actively working on a greener neighborhood. The users’ home energy management system has enabled them to take control over their energy use and costs. The next step is a large scale roll-out of smart energy systems, building on the solutions and services that have been developed in PowerMatching City. This next step, “PowerMatching City to the People” has already been initiated. Smart energy systems and services will be made commercially available to interested national and international parties.