- Maximise the use of solar generation within communities
- Encourage community members to be flexible with their use of energy
- Enable energy retailers to better forecast community electricity consumption and provide network ancillary services
- Help electricity network operators make the grid more resilient
As part of the €3.8m EU Horizon 2020 FleXunity grant funded project, the Electric Places team have led the development of two pilot Energy Communities – one in the town of Corby, UK and the second an energy community spread across Spain and Portugal.
Over 60 homes and 8 non-residential sites have been recruited in to the two communities – each a Virtual Power Plant (VPP). Energy management systems, stationary batteries and Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) electric vehicle chargers have been installed across the pilot communities to optimise the use of renewables and to enable control of each community’s flexible energy profiles.
Solar generation, electricity use and storage is being monitored
and managed at a community level and hundreds of small scale flexible loads are
being controlled (e.g. air conditioning, heaters and fridges) using an
innovative flexibility software platform.
The project finished in May 2022 and has successfully delivered new business models for energy communities and grid balancing services along with software platforms for residential and business users and community managers.
The two-year Horizon 2020 Fast Track to Innovation project was supported by a European consortium of five partners from the UK, Portugal, Spain and Finland (Electric Corby CIC, Virtual Power Solutions, R&D Nester, S’mples Energia and LUT University).