European Distribution System Operators for Smart Grids (EDSO) has announced a partnership with two European Commission (EC) projects to accelerate grid modernization.
Managed by a consortium led by French firm TECHNOFI, which includes EDSO, the EC project GRID+Storage aims to integrate energy storage into grid research and innovations activities – at distribution and transmission levels with the creation of a research and development roadmap and short-term implementation plan carried out over a period of two years.
The GRID+Storage project is the successor of the GRID+ project and supports the activities of the European Electricity Grid Initiative and will contribute to the EC’s Integrated Strategic Energy Technology Plan .
The first deliverable of the GRID+Storage project, a implementation plan for 2016-2017, will be open for public consultation in April 2015, says the an EDSO press statement.
Market opportunities of data collection
Another project that EDSO is involved in is the four-year FLEXICIENCY project, which includes 18 partners across 10 Member States including European utilities - Enel Distribuzione, Endesa Distribucion, ERDF and Vattenfall.
The initiative aims at facilitating the creation of new opportunities and unique services for end users based on data collected through advanced metering infrastructure.
The FLEXICIENCY project will demonstrate the market facilitation potential of DSOs – "boosting jobs and growth potential, and seeks to address an important remaining barrier to the higher integration of renewable energy resources: models and platforms for the availability of flexibility from grid users."
Another EDSO-partner project, EvolvDSO, has reached a critical stage, in which advanced tools are being developed that will be used by DSOs as their roles in the energy market change.
Changing role of European DSO
In an interview with Metering & Smart Metering International, Ana Aguardo, secretary general for EDSO, commented on the changing role of the DSO evolving into that of a ‘neutral market facilitator’ in which DSOs will manage and facilitate data between other market players.
Ms Aguardo said: “The very nature of DSOs, being regulated natural monopolies, not permitted to enter into commercial endeavours, and yet having direct contact with consumers through the network, makes DSOs perfectly suited to act as non-discriminatory market facilitators. DSOs therefore have no commercial interest in consumers’ energy use data, they simply need direct access to it to manage their networks securely and efficiently.
"DSOs can make sure that consumers remain the sole owners of their consumption data. They have a long history of managing such data, albeit on a much smaller scale. With the consumer’s consent, DSOs can provide this data to market actors offering new and innovative services, for example, based around demand side response and energy efficiency services.
"I must add, the DSO data management model will almost universally be more cost-efficient than setting up another platform to be run by a third party – an unnecessary duplication of costs.”
EDSO noted that its participation in project advisory boards, such as those of GRID+Storage and FLEXICIENCY, allows it to monitor and advise projects outside of its direct involvement, as such avoiding duplication of efforts and resources and helping to increase the acceptance and usability of solution across Europe.