PowerMatching City 2
In 2009 a village in the Netherlands started the world’s first smart grid pilot project: PowerMatching City 1.
The project incorporated 22 households, (micro) CHP units (combined heat and power), hybrid heat pumps, solar PV panels, smart devices and two electric vehicles.
This successful project was followed up with PowerMatching City II, including an additional 40 households. In PowerMatching City II, gained practical experience with new energy services and the feed in of renewable energy to the grid.
- The losses due to long distance energy transmission will decrease. Flexibility means energy providers can more efficiently manage their customers’ energy demand and so they can purchase energy on the market place at more competitive rates. The energy providers can also use the locally generated energy to align supply and demand at the local level and so reduce costs even more.
The project also produced physical innovations, such as electric scooters that are intelligently charged with renewable energy.
The scooters have a built-in PowerMatcher that was especially developed for the pilot project.
All the necessary technology has been installed on a chip, which means that in principle any device can participate in a smart energy system.
PowerMatching City II (follow up of PowerMatching City I) aims to implement a total package of smart energy services on a larger scale.
Questions that needed an answer:
- How can we align smart grids to the processes of the energy providers?
- How can we align energy services to the demands and requirements of the users?
- How do we achieve optimum capacity management in a smart grid?
- How can we validate the business cases that were proved feasible in PowerMatching City I?
Why they acted?
PowerMatching City demonstrated that smart management of energy supply and demand is technically feasible and generates value for all stakeholders. Flexibility has economic value. The benefits of flexibility for the Dutch consumer market could amount to as much as € 3.5 billion. If grid operators can count on flexible consumer devices they will need to invest less in the energy grid.
- PMC is a good example of how you can integrate a mix of devices. Various combinations of devices and energy carriers are possible.
- The now completed second phase does not mean the end of the pilot project. Some of our ‘living labs’ will be continued.
The equipment is all in place and, not unimportantly, the participants are really enthusiastic.
- We also want to scale up our energy services and bring them to market via large-scale demonstration projects. That is currently our biggest challenge.
- I hope that we will soon be testing in thousands of households, not only in the Netherlands, but abroad too, because our project also has international ambitions.”
Two energy services have been developed together with the residents in order to make the most of the flexibility.
- Energy services must be simple and transparent.
They can only be successful if they can meet the needs of the residents.
- The energy services enable the residents to use energy cooperatively in either the most cost-effective or the most sustainable manner. The pilot project revealed that information about costs was a stronger trigger than information about sustainability.
- On average, residents who could view information about the costs on the energy monitor in their living room checked their monitor twice as often as the households who received information about sustainability. PMC also tested various forms of demand response.
- The residents preferred the system whereby the equipment automatically turned itself on and off.
This system required the least effort, but it does mean that the users have to have confidence in the functioning of the devices.
- A new market model is needed. We need a market party that can manage the flexibility and distribute it to the best effect.
- The system also needs to be standardised to facilitate economically feasible and large-scale roll-out in the consumer market. This will reduce the costs of installing smart devices and running energy services.
Albert van den Noort – DNV GL
phone +31 (0) 50 700 97 84
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