Flexiciency – New Services Coming For European Energy Customers

Smart meter data will be exploited to build a new, innovative energy marketplace combining flexibility and efficiency.
Published: Fri 20 Feb 2015

Smart meter data offers the potential for a range of new energy services. [Engerati-Services are Adding Value to the Smart Meter]

In order to develop such services what promises to be an exciting new project has been launched in Europe, named ‘Flexiciency’, with support from the European Commission’s Horizon2020 research programme.

A virtual marketplace

Coordinated by Enel Distribuzione and with 18 partners from 10 European countries, the project will develop innovative energy services for customers through smart meter data.

The mission of Flexiciency – which has a total budget of €19.1 million (US$21.8 million), of which €13.9 million (US$15.8 million) is financed by Brussels – is to expand the role of DSOs. As neutral players in the market, they can support the creation of new business opportunities and innovative services for end users, based on consumer data collected by smart meters. The goal is to contribute to the achievements of 2020 energy consumption and CO2 emissions targets through the modernization of transmission networks and the implementation of new policies and market regulations that promote the creation of smart grids. Increasing renewable micro-generation and production shares within local networks will see costs cut and the ground prepared for shared benefits.

“Flexiciency is a very important project that aims to create a virtual European market place, where the data collected by distributors through smart meters, traders and retailers is available to those who want to offer services to customers,” said Paola Petroni, head of Network Technologies at Enel Distribuzione.

In addition to Enel, other leading distribution system operators participating include ERDF in France, Sweden's Vattenfall and Spain’s Endesa Distribución.

Demonstration projects

The initiative will feature the creation of five large-scale demonstration projects. Four of these will be built in countries where smart metering systems are already present: Italy, Spain, France and Sweden. The fifth will be built by Verbund in Austria, a country that does not have a smart metering system.

The demonstration projects will be installed in different technological and market conditions, in order to assess how the data received from the distributor in real time can enable the development of innovative services, ranging from the monitoring of energy consumption and management to flexibility services.

Italian demonstration

The Italian demonstration project, which was developed by Enel Distribuzione in cooperation with Enel Energia and Siemens Italia, will involve 5,000 customers in the Milan area. Users will be provided with advanced monitoring services via the Enel Smart Info device. The Active Energy Management system developed by Enel for its Expo 2015 smart grid will collect the smart meter data, which will in turn be made available to customers or third parties via a web application.

Spanish demonstration

The Spanish pilot will be managed by Endesa Distribución, with the development of value-added services for end users in Malaga. The distribution system will be updated and coordinated with Endesa Energia’s commercial structure, using a series of new interfaces from different service management platforms, such as distribution, services and market.