Grid-Friends, a European research project that aims to accelerate Europe’s energy transition by setting a new standard in smart-grid technology, is launching two projects in the Netherlands and Germany.
The project will implement an advanced smart-grid platform in two communities – Schoonschip, a residential neighborhood located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and a carbon-neutral housing complex in Cologne, Germany.
The Dutch pilot will be the first of its kind in the Netherlands, demonstrating how local communities that manage their own microgrid behind the meter can play a pivotal role in the European energy transition.
Grid-Friends is developing the coordination mechanisms and the software platform for energy cooperatives, enabling them to maximize self-sufficiency and generate greater value through shared exploitation of storage and other flexible assets.
“The platform we are developing enables many distributed renewable energy systems to be combined into one, larger, virtual power plant, which is able to perform the same services as centralized power plants and production systems.” said Matthias Klein, team leader at Fraunhofer ITWM.
The platform will use the latest in ICT technology to control battery systems, electric vehicle chargers, energy generation assets, heat pumps, thermal storage, and smart appliances in order to optimize energy supply and demand.
The project started in May, 2016 and has received funding in the framework of the joint programming initiative ERA-Net Smart Grids Plus, with support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
The Grid-Friends consortium includes two leading European research institutes–Stichting Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics (ITWM). Also involved are Spectral Utilities, a systems integration and clean-tech development startup based in Amsterdam, Evohaus, a green construction firm founded in 1998 based in Germany and leader in innovative construction and real-estate development, focused on building carbon neutral ecological living quarters for low income families
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