Talk village microgrids and one immediately thinks of rural electrification for those without access. But there are plenty of reasons, particularly with the decentralisation of the energy system, for installations in locations across the world.
Such a solution is now being installed by E.ON in the tiny southern Swedish village of Simris.
It comprises 500kW of wind power and 440kW of solar PV panels along with an 800kW capacity battery to provide 100% renewable energy supply to the approximately 140 households.
Residents will participate as ‘prosumers’ through the production of solar energy. In addition, they will have steerable load assets such as heat pumps.
The system is aimed to cut power peaks and make generation more efficient. A key project aim is that customers who are connected to the local energy system will not experience a difference in the quality of power supplied.
To ensure security of supply during the project phase, Simris can be seamlessly re-connected to the regional grid at any time.
“This exciting project shows a possible development for the evolution of smart grids,” says Leonhard Birnbaum, Member of the E.ON Board. “With the right technical equipment and intelligent solutions, at Simris we can now demonstrate a decentralised, renewable but also comfortable future of energy even today.”
Simris residents will be able to follow the village’s electricity generation and consumption and the flow of energy to or from the battery continually in real time via E.ON’s website.
The Simris project is one of six regional demonstrations in the Horizon 2020 supported €23m InterFlex project.
The 3-year project launched on 1 January 2017. It is aimed to investigate the INTERactions between FLEXibilities provided by energy market players and the distribution grid through testing new uses of local flexibilities and new solutions of system automation in order to improve the system performance and reliability at a local scale.
Focus technologies include energy storage, smart charging of electric vehicles, demand response, islanding, grid automation and the integration of different energy carriers, i.e. electricity, gas and heat.
Other issues to be addressed include the interoperability of systems, replicability of solutions and the identification of relevant business models.
In addition to Enedis as project lead and E.ON, other participating DSOs are ČEZ Distribuce in the Czech Republic, Enexis in the Netherlands and Avacon in Germany.
The six demonstrations will test different combinations of the technologies and solutions.
In addition to the Simris project, E.ON is undertaking a second demonstration in Sweden in Malmö with a focus on demand response.
The French demonstration named Nice Smart Valley is a continuation of the Nice Grid project taking place in and around the same location.
Enexis’s demonstration in the Netherlands is located in Eindhoven but the locations of the German and Czeck demonstrations haven’t been named as yet.