Specific objectives

The main objective of the project can be split into several specific objectives:

To design and configure cross-border balancing and redispatching mechanisms, based on a harmonized set of requirements for demand response and distributed generation in automatic frequency restoration reserve markets

Firstly, the provision of secondary reserve (aFRR) has challenging technical requirements like, for instance:

  • short response time (at most, 5 min to reach a stable point of full feed-in (resp. load),
  • continuously changing set point for feed-in (resp. load),
  • full availability and continuous delivery during the whole duration of contract.

Therefore, only certain industrial processes may qualify for a market for secondary reserve. These processes should be operated 24/7. A short response time is guaranteed if the secondary reserve provision can be delivered by partial load or process curtailment. A rundown or switch-off of the process should be avoided since industrial processes are part of a complex production chain in most cases. There are two industrial standard processes which can fulfil all the requirements: electrolysis and industrial steam turbines in CHP operation. However, further industrial processes allow fast switching: this should be investigated further to identify the potential participants in aFRR markets.

The baseline, the prequalification requirements, the IT connection features and the flexibility characteristics for distributed generation (DG) units and commercial and industrial (C&I) consumers must be studied in the four control zones and the design should follow the goal that a large number of potential participants are able to participate in aFRR markets through an aggregation platform.
Secondly, according to the Network Code on Electricity Balancing (NC EB), transmission capacity reservation through the value of Reliability Margin is not allowed for balancing purposes, with the exception of Frequency Containment Reserves (FCR – formally called primary control). Article 16.3 of Regulation 714/2009 reads “The maximum capacity of the interconnections and/or the transmission networks affecting cross-border flows shall be made available to market participants, complying with safety standards of secure network operation”. However, the NC EB foresees possible exceptions to this principle: “Each TSO shall have the right to reserve Cross Zonal Capacity for the Exchange of Balancing Capacity or Sharing of Reserves when socio-economic efficiency is proved”. Two of the research objectives of the project are therefore:

  • to design a cross-border balancing and redispatching mechanism taking account of congestions (cross-border
    PROCUREMENT of balancing reserves),
  • to design and configure a common activation function, used for modelling and simulation in such a way that socio-economic
    efficiency is maximized within the countries addressed by the project (cross-border ACTIVATION of balancing reserves)

The methodology implemented to evaluate the socio-economic efficiency of reserving capacity for cross-border exchanges of
balancing energy shall be designed in such a way that it could be replicated in other European regions.

To prototype the demand response and distributed generation flexibility aggregation platforms for frequency restoration reserve.

A demand response and distributed generation flexibility aggregation platform (or virtual power plant) is prototyped, based on an innovative software solution able to deliver secure and reliable automatic frequency restoration reserve offers to the transmission system operators based on the above requirements integrated from an analysis of the four control zones. This innovative approach allows for a seamless integration of the biding part on the one side, together with the automatic execution of the frequency restoration reserve services on the other side.

To prototype a regional balancing and redispatching platform embedding a common activation function

A virtual ICT environment, the regional balancing and redispatching platform, is prototyped so that each balancing and redispatchingservice provider is able to provide cross-border balancing and redispatching services to control zones outsideits member state borders, including automatic frequency restoration reserve services. It embeds a common activation function,compatible with the requirements of several network codes. Each transmission system operator connected to this regionalplatform is then able to perform its activities by using the offers from generators and consumers possibly located in thecontrol area of another transmission system operator also connected to the regional balancing and redispatching platform.

To pilot test the prototype flexibility aggregation platforms and the prototype regional balancing and redispatching platform

A set of use cases is defined, reflecting the requirements for demand-side response and distributed generation in frequencyrestoration reserve markets, and the configuration of the common activation function. These use cases guide the pilottesting of the prototype demand-side response and distributed generation flexibility aggregation platforms and the prototypeRegional Balancing and Redispatching Platform. The pilot tests are run by the involved retailers and in principle all transmissionsystem operators in near-to-real-life conditions, thanks to the participation of commercial and industrial consumers anddistributed generation recruited specifically for the project. The tests are assessed using a set of predefined key performanceindicators focused on socio-economic efficiency and system security.

To recommend a deployment roadmap for the most promising use cases involving transmission system operators’ cooperation based on an impact analysis of the proposed solutions

The research results, the prototypes developed and the corresponding tests allow the consortium to provide recommendationsfor scalability and replicability of the project’s outcomes, and/or further research activities and tests to be performed.Recommendations are made for regulatory improvements within the existing framework provided by the relevant networkcodes.

To prepare the exploitation strategies of the demonstrated solutions by the participating non-regulated players

Possible economic models of the demand response and distributed generation flexibility aggregation platforms are developedand tailored to different legal, regulatory and economic contexts and to the needs of each transmission system operator, dependingon the generation mix and consumption pattern within its system. The final exploitation plan retained by the consortiumdefines the technical and economic models which support a sustainable exploitation of the outputs delivered by theproject. A specific set of proposals are made for attracting commercial and industrial consumers and distributed generation toparticipate in automatic frequency restoration reserve markets through a demand response and distributed generation flexibilityaggregation platform.

To engage in dialogue with the impacted stakeholders through broad dissemination activities

Based on the research activities performed, the prototypes developed and the pilot tests assessed, the dissemination activitiessupport the preparation of the exploitation strategies of the projectΓÇÖs outcomes. Experience and advice exchange withstakeholders, such as research experts, transmission system operators, retailers, utilities and/or other interested players, areencouraged in the project through the creation of an advisory board of experts and a reference group of transmission systemoperators.

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