In order to reach the Paris Agreement objectives and achieve a more sustainable energy system, the EU is aiming at increasing up to at least 32% the share of renewables in energy consumption. At this purpose FLEXIGRID project will develop a set of solutions to address, under a cost-efficient basis, the challenges for reliability, stability and security of supply that the electricity grid is expected to face as a result of the increasing share of variable renewables in the energy system.

Last 30th and 31st October Zaragoza (Spain) hosted the kick off meeting of FLEXIGRID, an innovation action project funded by Horizon 2020 EU´s, which brings together a European consortium of 16 partners lead by CIRCE representing all energy system value chain. 2 RTOs (CIRCE and LINKS) and 2 Universities (UNICAN and UNIZG-FER) will work together with 5 technology providers, counting 3 large companies (ATOS, OP&A, ZIV) and 2 SMEs (HYPERTECH, SELTA) to develop the project solutions and deploy them in 4 demos sites, represented by 3 DSO (VIESGO, HEP-ODS, EDYNA) and 2 large companies (VERD, IOSA). Finally, 2 associations (CAP and CEDEC) will ensure the exploitation and dissemination of the project results along with the EU energy community. FLEXIGRID has a duration of 48 months and a total budget of 8.54 Million Euros.

The Project aims at putting into practice new tools to allow the distribution grid to operate in a secure and stable manner when a large share of variable renewable electricity sources is connected to low and medium voltage grids. Concretely, through the development of innovative hardware and software solutions, partners will seek:

  • to improve the power system flexibility by enhancing the grid hosting capacity of renewables
  • to increase the observability, controllability and automation of the network systems for the improvement of both the security and resilience of the grid
  • to mitigate short-term and long-term congestions in the distributed grid from an economically efficient point of view
  • and to ensure the interoperability and compatibility of the developed solutions with different platforms used by European DSOs.

These solutions will be implemented in eight uses cases which will be demonstrated in four demo-sites: a rural and peri-urban network in the Spanish grid, a hotel in the Greek Island of Thassos; an urban grid in the city of Zagreb accounting congested areas and an isolated valley in the South -Tyrol region of Italy with more than 50% of hydroelectric energy. Moreover, the project will help identifying and analysing, through a constant monitoring of the legislation, the obstacles to innovation under the current local and European regulatory framework. Last but not least, FLEXIGRID partners wish to raise awareness among citizens and other relevant stakeholders on the transition towards a low carbon economy, considering them as active players within the energy system.

The ultimate goal of the FLEXIGRID project is to develop new innovative, scalable and cost-efficient solutions to contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions and to the 2030 EU climate objectives.