Swissgrid launches residential flexibility pilot in Switzerland

Switzerland’s TSO Swissgrid is partnering with Zurich DSO ewz to pilot residential flexibility on the blockchain.

The companies are rolling out the pilot on the blockchain based Equigy crowd funding platform, of which Swissgrid was one of the project consortium founders.

The pilot focuses on identifying how consumer flexible energy sources, such as domestic battery storage systems, solar PV, heat pump technology or electric vehicles, can be used efficiently to provide ancillary services for the transmission or distribution grids.

The aim is to harness these available flexibilities in the grid for the service that brings the greatest benefit for the security of the entire system. Equigy guarantees participants in the project both secure and transparent exchange of data and information.

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Furthermore, blockchain technology from Equigy offers the opportunity for extensive automation of business processes arising from the collaboration among DSOs and TSOs, which will improve coordination and efficiency.

The pilot project consists of two phases. During the first preparatory phase, the framework conditions and the business requirements for collaboration among all players, i.e. the DSO, TSO and the aggregator that manages the flexible resources, are being developed.

In the subsequent execution phase, these requirements are to be incorporated in the development of pilot software. This makes it possible to carry out tests of the relevant coordination processes on the Equigy platform.

The pilot is expected to run for one year to be completed by the middle of the second quarter of 2022.

This is Swissgrid’s second pilot on the Equigy platform. During 2020 a pilot was run with the Swiss energy services provider Alpiq targetting the use of storage technologies for the provision of primary control energy.

In the pilot project, a 1.2MW battery was used as a flexible energy resource and the process of calling up primary control power was successfully tested. This included the registration of flexible resources, the submission of offers and awarding of bids and the real-time monitoring of data exchange between Alpiq and Swissgrid.

The pilot was a key milestone in demonstrating the potential of blockchain solutions for the future support of primary control energy business processes, with evaluation of possible business models as the next step.

The Equigy platform consortium includes in addition to Swissgrid TenneT from Germany and the Netherlands, Terna from Italy and Austrian Power Grid.

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