ARRS projects

Local-flexibility market platforms for distribution networks (DN-FLEX)

The EU long-term vision is foreseeing a climate neutral economy by 2050, which will require deep emissions reduction. As a consequence, also the powersystem is facing very big changes. On the supply side, the end target is the creation of a new energy scenario widely dominated by renewable energy sources (RES) and mostly based on distributed energy generation. On the demand side, at least two transformations are occurring. The first one is the electrification of transport. Electric mobility is expected to play a major role in the decarbonisation of the transport in Europe and worldwide in the next decades. The second one is the electrification of heating. As heating and cooling in the built environment accounts for almost 40 % of the total final energy demand in Europe, also the electrification of heat is one of the main pathways to decarbonisation. Therefore, the transmission and distribution networks are facing the challenges of large shares of renewable generation, electric vehicles(EVs)and heat pumps (HPs), all affecting network operation to a large extent.

The present project aims at addressing the above challenges with the development of local-flexibility market platforms for distribution networks. The proposed system will enable the provision of network services with distribution-network operational constraints in mind. On the DSO side, there are three calculation modules, which together form the distribution-network constraints platform. On the aggregator’s side, the flexibility aggregation platform includes the flexibility scheduling module that aggregates and activates the flexibility potential of active customers in an optimal way, while taking into account distribution network constraints. On the market side, the market operator platform contains the services scheduling module for the provision of services to different power system stakeholders based on the service demand and flexibility supply offer.T hese platforms will be tested in a pilot project within an actual LV network.

The authors acknowledge the project (Local-flexibility market platforms for distribution networks (DN-FLEX), L2-3162) was financially supported by the Slovenian Research Agency. Project will last from 1.10.2021 – 30.9.2024.

Composition of the research group

Fakulteta za elektrotehniko (UL FE):
Prof. dr. Boštjan Blažič (SICRIS), leader of the project, Janja Dolenc (SICRIS) and Marjan Ilkovski.

dr. Rok Lacko (SICRIS),  Luka Nagode, Jan Tršinar and Matej Malenšek

Elektro Gorenjska (EG):
Anže Vilman (SICRIS) and Nejc Petrovič (SICRIS)

Project phases

There will be 6 phases (work packages) in this project.

Work Package 1: Development of the distribution network constraints platform
Main objective of this work package is to develop and test forecasting algorithms suitable for forecasts of consumption of highly variable LV consumers. Development of a state-forecast algorithm, capable of robust and accurate state-estimation ofday-ahead operation will also be done. We will aim to develop the distribution network node capacity module for calculation of maximum nodal generation and consumption, which will not exceed network operational limits. All algorithms will be tested with simulations.

Work Package 2: Development of the market operator platform
Upgrade of the existing flexibility aggregation platform will be performed, so that it will takeinto account distribution network constraints.  Market operator platform, aimed at the provision of services for the DSO, will be  developed. Proposed algorithms will be tested with simulations.

Work Package 3: Development of the advanced network planning tool
We will aim to statistically model RES generation and load consumption, with the focus on PV, EVs and HPs. We will propose a methodology for a network planning approach. Network planning tool enabling the analysis of highly variable distribution network operation and the simulation of smart grids solutions (including flexibility provision) will be developed.

Work Package 4: Demonstration of the service platformsand results evaluation
The main objective is to demonstrate the operation of the developed services platforms in the field, i.e., in a LV network, where active customers will participate in network control by demand response. To select the LV network for the demo, install and connect metering equipment, and analyse the LV network will be done. The use cases for services at the DSO and TSO levels will be defined. Demonstration will provide feedback on the algorithm operation and generate practical results.

Work Package 5: Scalability and replicability study, regulatory recommendations
Based on the demo results, a study will be carried out to assess the impact of a wide scale (national level) implementation of the local flexibility market. Technical, social and regulatory barriers for local flexibility market will be identified, and changes will be proposed to enable the use of a services market atnational distribution level.

Work Package 6: Communication, dissemination and exploitation of the results
Communication with stakeholders, including network customers and the Energy Agency will be ensured. A subcontractor will be hired for professional communication with network customers. Project results will be disseminated in the form of newsletters, conference publications and journal papers. Exploitation plan for the project results will be built.

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