Soesterberg/Bunnik, the Netherlands, 23 September 2015 – Construction company BAM is taking the first steps towards a smart grid with the retrofit of 69 homes of social housing corporation Portaal in Soesterberg. The retrofit is one of the projects undertaken as part of ‘de Stroomversnelling’ programme (the Rapids – electricity acceleration) to refurbish (often older) homes to become comfortable, energy efficient net-zero-energy homes. In Soesterberg (near Utrecht) Portal and BAM have fit seven homes with smart technology to deal with the electrical and mechanical installations and thus making these houses ‘Smart Grid Ready’.
The refurbishment includes the installation of new isolating facades, which will be put against the existing facades. An insulated roof with solar panels will be installed on the existing roof. The houses get new, efficient installations and are disconnected from the gas network. The dwelling become ‘all electric’. Residents receive an induction hob. Older kitchens, bathrooms and toilets are modernized. BAM renovates each house within two weeks, while the residents stay in their home. The renovation of the homes, which will be Smart Grid Ready.
First smart districts of the Netherlands
The large quantities of solar panels and heat pumps used in ‘de Stroomversnelling’, affect the energy balance of the area. Because the residents no longer use gas, their electricity consumption increases. Smart grids are necessary in the future (with large(r) shares of renewable energy and increased electricity use) to (re)divide and guarantee the supply of power and keep it affordable.
Smart grids are established in smart neighborhoods. In smart neighborhoods it is not only possible to produce energy, but also for example to facilitate shared electric cars. The ‘smart district’ thus goes beyond a technical solution; it offers the possibility of a joint sustainable way of living. This generates opportunities to further increase the value that BAM offers with its renovation, increase the sustainability and develop the neighborhood.
Smart Grid Ready
BAM is – together with partners Alklima /Mitsubishi Electric and Enervalis – leading in this development by taking the first steps towards a smart grid at ‘de Stroomversnelling’ project. The unique aspect of this project, is that a concrete step towards smart neighborhoods is being taken, the goals is to implement the technology on additional houses within a short term.
The houses are made Smart Grid Ready through the M&E installations. As an example, in this pilot project BAM will control the air / water heat pumps from Mitsubishi Electric in such a way that that they load the hot water buffer at the perfect time - for example, during the day when the sun shines. The residents won’t notice anything, because there is always hot water available when needed. Smart Grid Ready homes provide flexibility that contributes to the optimal use of locally produced energy. The Universal Smart Energy Framework (USEF) is implemented to accommodate use of the flexibility on the energy grid. The standard describes all roles and responsibilities of entities active on the electricity market and allows for effective corporation and trade among stakeholders in a smart grid setting. The realization of Smart Grid Ready dwellings forms the precursor of the EU REnnovates project, where BAM aims to develop and realize smart houses on large scales together with international partners.
- BAM Bouw en Techniek: Dennis van Goch, Technological Designer