FlexUnity project promises to disrupt business models on energy communities and foster the active role of consumers and prosumers

This project aims to develop Virtual Power Plants empowered by Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain, enabling an optimized management of Energy Communities' flexibility towards a low-carbon and climate resilient future
By: BloomCast
LISBON, Portugal - Oct. 21, 2020 - PRLog -- Virtual Power Solutions, a leading company in digital technology development for the energy sector, is coordinating the FlexUnity project funded by European Union's Horizon 2020 program that aims to scale-up Virtual Power Plants digital tools using advanced Artificial Intelligence, remote automatization and blockchain technology to optimize and monetize the flexibility from energy communities.

The project, which started in December 2019, will contribute to two main current challenges: how energy communities can help reduce the impact of renewables intermittency in electric grids and how to help consumers to be more efficient and reduce their carbon footprint. The final goal is to ease the penetration of distributed renewable energy resources at LV/MV networks, introducing new tools for grid managers at lower costs, and enabling additional earnings for consumers/prosumers in exchange for their flexibility and renewable generation surplus.

FlexUnity will test and demonstrate these novel services in two pilots with distinct market conditions: the UK energy market (open) and the Iberian market (in transformation). In the UK the pilot will be carried in Corby, and in the Iberian Peninsula the pilot will be deployed with a virtual energy community that aggregates households and buildings across Portugal and Spain. In total, the pilots will include more than 50 households and buildings with distributed renewable energy, storage systems, electric vehicle charging and multiple small flexible loads.

As a result, consumers and prosumers will be able to reduce their energy costs and generate new revenues from flexibility trading, contributing to the reduction of the energy communities' carbon emissions. Additionally, retailers and aggregators will be able to increase their flexibility portfolio and reduce their imbalance costs in the spot market, and grid operators will have new tools to use energy communities' aggregated flexibility to support grid balancing.

According to Luísa Matos, Project Coordinator & VPS' CEO: "Energy communities, now being implemented across the globe, are a key step in the evolution of the energy sector. Consumers and prosumers will be able to have an active role in the energy future. We are developing digital tools and business models that will support energy democratization, energy decentralization and energy decarbonization. With FleXunity project, flexibility will be used as an asset and, by introducing Artificial Intelligence algorithms and Blockchain technology in Virtual Power Plants platforms, new services will be validated to benefit consumers, prosumers, aggregators and grid operators."

Contributing to energy security and the current climate change challenges, FleXunity's consortium include partners from Portugal (VPS and R&D NESTER - Centro de Investigação em Energia), Spain (Simples Energía de España), Finland (Lappeenranta University of Technology) and the UK (Electric Corby).

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 870146. In total, the cost will be 3,7 million euros from which 2,9 million euros are co-funded by EU.

ABOUT VPS

Virtual Power Solutions is an innovative technology player with extensive energy optimization knowledge, which actively contributes to the low carbon economy by providing energy consumers and utilities the tools for the digital transformation of the energy sector. VPS designs and implements dynamically connected energy platforms, providing data analytics, optimization algorithms and remote-control tools to consumers, network operators and utilities. VPS is an expert on increasing energy efficiency and optimizing load flexibility at both building level and energy community level. Its team of technology and energy experts has a strong track record on the provision of significant benefits to all stakeholders in the modern energy network, supporting energy savings, costs reduction and lowering the carbon footprint.

For VPS, the creation of disruptive products and services adapted to an ever-changing market is crucial: in light of the new ambitious renewable energies and energy efficiency goals set by the European Union, domestic and commercial/industrial consumers will have an active role in the energy systems of the future, not only looking for tools to use energy in a more efficient way but also for platforms to share and sell their own energy assets.

https://www.vps.energy/

Contact
Rodolfo Oliveira
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Tags:Virtual Power Plants, Energy, Energy Optimization
Industry:Energy
Location:Lisbon - Lisbon - Portugal
Subject:Projects
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