1. Background and progress required beyond the state of the art
Even though the transmission system is physically linked with the distribution systems to transfer electric power and energy, real-time DSO-TSO data exchanges scarce. Furthermore, distribution system states and conditions (i.e., load, capacity, and voltage) are often not monitored. The reversion of unidirectional flows due to massive integration of DER into distribution grids make it necessary to develop tools and procedures for the observability of the distribution system for transmission network management, through DSO-TSO communication interfaces and distribution system status information. The challenge is to aggregate data in an accurate manner from short-term up to long-term time horizons.
New types of consumption such as electric vehicles (EV) will also enter the markets for energy and ancillary services. Services provided by DER to TSOs shall be developed, such as ancillary services linked with EV charging , ancillary services provided by storage, active power control of DER and reactive power control of DER.
In addition, the integration of Demand side management (DSM) at DSO level into TSO operations shall be further explored. To that end, the concept of real-time pricing (which has a long history in literature) needs to be explored to complement the work done by some past or ongoing projects. In addition, the concept of aggregation (be it for aggregated DER or load aggregation) needs business models to be defined.
Next, there currently are almost no common and binding procedures at the pan-European level for managing defence and restoration with contributions from RES (wind farms in particular) and DER within distribution systems during emergencies. DSOs involvement in defence and restoration plan needs to be investigated, in particular through the possible reconfiguration of distribution network.
The future deployment of smart grid innovative solutions may face several challenges (on top of technical and economic difficulties) which call for designing methodologies for scaling-up and replication
. For example, the economic risk of deployment may not be under control, even though technical risks seem to be under control (lack of economic scaling
); or the regulatory environment, which may be favourable in one control zone (economic scaling is managed), is no longer favourable in another control zone (lack of replication potential
2. Outcomes provided by the projects that address the challenges of the cluster
A. The EcoGrid project
The vast majority of previous and ongoing projects have focused on the assessment of the technical possibilities for DER. In contrast, the EcoGrid EU project focuses on market-based system operation, so that both production and consumption should respond to price signals from the power system rather than be controlled directly by system operators. The EcoGrid EU project will develop a near-real-time market and make a demonstration of demand response to real-time price, thus contributing to the integration of Demand Side Management (DSM) at DSO level into TSO operations.
B. The Grid4EU project
Started in November 2011 for a duration of 51 months, Grid4EU lays the groundwork for the development of tomorrow's electricity grids. It will test the potential of smart grids in areas such as the integration of DER, the integration of small-scale storage, the integration of electric vehicles (EVs), grid automation, energy efficiency and load shaping.