Context

A major key to the energy trans​ition is making sure devices use energy when it is available: when the sun shines or the wind blows. A lot of flexible devices can be found in every household: by activating for example an electric boiler at the right time, a flexibility provider helps the energy system on one hand, and on the other hand the boiler owner earns some money for that. There’s one problem However: Flexibility providers have no means to know how many boilers can be activated in the same street without jeoperdizing grid integrity. Therefore they have to play it safe resulting in a lot of flexibility that is not put to good use. Soteria creates a way for parties to work together to make better use of the available devices and grids!

Approach

The Soteria concept brings existing and new building blocks together: A new market is created where flexibility providers send their aggregated bids including locational information and system operators share their grid constraints forecasts in advance. A market clearing algorithm calculates the most beneficial solution for all stakeholders. The market outcome is validated by the system operators to ensure no grid constraint are violated and finally the flexibility is activated by the flexibility providers in a grid-secure way. 

Step 0: Share Virtual Power Plant (VPP) information 

Step 1: Gather grid insights from devices and digital meters 

Step 2: Publish grid bandwidth for flexibility 

Step 3: Offer flexibility to market, after which the market clears within the specified grid constraints 

Step 4: Cleared market schedule sent for validation to the system operator 

Step 5: Schedule approved by grid logic agent 

Step 6: Activation of residential flexibility 

Step 7: Audit trail & settlement information gathered from digital meters 

Description

1 | Growth of RES is putting our grids under pressure 

Electricity systems in the EU and US are “decarbonizing” rapidly. The integration of intermittent and distributed renewable energy sources is however pressuring our electricity grids.

2 | Demand response is a key enabler of the energy transition 

Demand response, is a critical resource for achieving a low carbon, efficient electricity system at a reasonable cost.

3 | But there is a huge potential of unused flexibility at distribution level 

But a large part of the available residential flexibility cannot be leveraged towards system operators due to the limited information sharing between the grid operators, flexibility providers and flexible consumers.  

4 | Bring more revenue streams to prosumers 

Within the IO.Energy Soteria project, Belgian energy leaders will connect all stakeholders to transform uncoordinated activations by residential assets (e.g.DR-ready electric boilers) into grid-secure demand response, maximizing the value for residential electricity consumers and stabilizing the energy system. 

Members

Ruben Bäumer Restore

Klaas Charlier Thermovault

Bert Claessens Restore

Hannes De Schrijver Fluvius

Maxime Hanot N-Side

Sandro Iacovella Thermovault

Mehdi Madani N-Side

Pol Olivella Rosell Thermovault

Stef Peeters Restore

Adrien Rosen N-Side

Hans Vandenbroucke Elia

Partners

Elia is the Transmission System Operator of Belgium.

Fluvius is the Distribution System Operator for Flanders, with the mission to sustainably connect society through multi-utility solutions. As founding father of IO.E it will co-create a grid logic agent for IO.E that solution providers can interact with, enabling them to develop new services for customers in coherence with the physical grid. In doing so, IO.E becomes an infrastructure connecting the digital and the physical world. 

N-SIDE is an innovative software consulting company in advanced analytics designing artificial intelligence and optimization solutions for Supply Chain, Operations and Energy management.

REstore, part of Centrica Business Solutions is a leading aggregator with a global scope, providing demand response solutions for industrial and residential consumers through our FlexPond platform. REstore operates > 1.5 GW in different flexibility programs, from power to energy products.

ThermoVault offers an all-in retrofit solution that transforms space water heaters into an energy-saving storage device. As well as a certified Ecodesign savings of 12–28%, ThermoVault currently controls more than 1.5MW of residential appliances in Belgium.