Thessaloniki, Greece --- (METERING.COM) --- January 18, 2013 - An international consortium of organizations has been recently awarded funding through the European Commission’s 7th Framework program for the INERTIA project to investigate the integration of prosumers into the smart grid.

INERTIA (Integrating Active, Flexible and Responsive Tertiary Prosumers into a Smart Distribution Grid), which is coordinated by the Institute of Informatics and Telematics of the National Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH-ITI), will examine factors such as the daily consumption profiling of end-users, the mass penetration of distributed energy resources (DERs), and the operation of the deregulated energy market.

In elasticity of demand, along with the increasing presence of intermittent DERs, presents significant challenges for grid balance and reliability. Demand side management has the capacity to overcome some of these challenges and to become a powerful tool at the hands of the distribution grid operators and other stakeholders responsible for the provision of services. Moreover, as DERs become an increasingly indispensable element of the grid infrastructure, demand capacity and flexibility become critical grid operation performance factors with shared profit opportunities for consumers and the other stakeholders involved.

The INERTIA project aims to address the “structural inertia” of existing distribution grids by introducing more active elements combined with the necessary control and distributed coordination mechanisms. Semantically enhanced DERs will be the main constituents of the INERTIA active distribution grid management framework. These will constitute active and flexible components that carry contextual knowledge concerning their local environment. This self-organized overlay network of connected DERs will allow for the seamless management and control of the active grid as well as the efficient coordination and exploration of single and aggregated prosumer potential (generation and consumption) to participate in energy balancing and other distributed grid related services.

Global operational and technical parameters of the electricity grid will be seamlessly and continuously translated into real time local control strategies. INERTIA will offer fine grained control while at the same time ensuring privacy and autonomy on the local level, fully respecting prosumer preferences and needs. INERTIA will finally evaluate and propose new viable business/contractual models, optimally distributing potential benefits to all stakeholders involved in the INERTIA value chain and treating the DER capacity and flexibility as the main commodity.

The INERTIA project, with a total budget of €5.3 million, will run for 36 months.

The project participants include PPC and Hypertech S.A. from Greece, Tecnalia from Spain, the Technical University of Kosice from Slovakia, Engineering – Ingegneria Informatica SPA, Indesit and Enel Green Power from Italy, CNet AB from Sweden, and Almende B.V. from the Netherlands.