Press Release: Important step towards integration of decentralised energy sources and consumers
Swissgrid and ewz team up to launch the Equigy pilot project for coordination of transmission and distribution grid operators.
June 8, 2021 – During the second quarter of 2021 Swissgrid and ewz launched a new project in connection with the crowd balancing platform Equigy. The project involves the development and testing of an innovative approach to future use of decentralised energy sources and consumers such as domestic battery storage systems, photovoltaic plants, heat pumping technology or electric vehicles, in line with the needs of transmission and distribution grids.
Collaboration between the transmission system operator (TSO) Swissgrid and the various distribution system operators (DSOs) already plays an important role within Switzerland’s electricity supply system. In future, it is likely to become even more important, which is why Swissgrid and ewz (together with its subsidiary Smart Grid Solutions AG) are working together to implement a pilot project in connection with the crowd balancing platform Equigy.
The pilot project focuses on identifying how flexible energy sources and consumers – such as domestic battery storage systems, photovoltaic plants, heat pumping technology or electric vehicles – can be used efficiently to provide ancillary services for the transmission or distribution grid. The aim here is to harness these available flexibilities in the grid for the service that brings the greatest benefit for the security of the entire system. Equigy guarantees participants in the project both secure and transparent exchange of data and information. Furthermore, blockchain technology from Equigy offers the opportunity for extensive automation of business processes arising from the collaboration among distribution and transmission system operators. This will result in lasting improvements in coordination and efficiency.
The pilot project consists of two phases: a preparatory and an execution phase. During the preparatory phase, the framework conditions and the business requirements for collaboration among all players – the DSO, the TSO and the aggregator that manages the flexible resources – are being developed. In the subsequent execution phase, these requirements are to be incorporated in the development of pilot software. This makes it possible to carry out tests of the relevant coordination processes on the Equigy platform. The pilot research project was launched in the second quarter of 2021 and is likely to be completed by the middle of the second quarter of 2022.
Equigy – crowd balancing platform
The blockchain-based crowd balancing platform Equigy intensifies the cooperation on a European level and creates standardisation for integrating small, decentralised units into the grid control process. The platform thus makes a significant contribution to grid stabilisation and increases efficiency in the control energy market.
Swissgrid launched Equigy in April 2020 in a consortium with the transmission system operators TenneT (Germany/Netherlands) and Terna (Italy). In December, it was made into a joint venture. In February 2021, the Austrian transmission system operator APG joined the joint venture.
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Swissgrid is the National Grid Company. As owner of the Swiss extra-high-voltage grid, it is responsible for operating the grid safely and without discrimination, and for maintaining, modernising and expanding the extra-high-voltage grid efficiently and with respect for the environment. Swissgrid employs some 600 qualified staff from 22 countries at its sites in Aarau, Prilly, Castione, Landquart, Laufenburg, Ostermundigen and Uznach As a member of the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E), it is also responsible for tasks in the fields of grid planning, system management and market design in the European exchange of electricity. The majority of Swissgrid’s share capital is jointly held by various Swiss electricity companies.
ewz – more than power
ewz is a leading company with pioneering energy and communication solutions. Throughout Switzerland, ewz works to implement environmentally and economically sound energy supply systems for complex locations and major projects, as well as energy networks for neighbourhoods and communities. ewz is responsible for the supply of electricity in the city of Zurich and parts of Grisons Canton. In Zurich, ewz provides a comprehensive, non-discriminatory and usable fibre-optic network. In its own power plants at home and abroad, ewz produces 100% green electricity from water, wind and solar radiation. Furthermore, ewz offers energy consultancy services and individual electricity supply as well as tailor-made telecom solutions to companies with market rights. ewz employs 1,200 people and generated 1,031 million francs in turnover in 2020. It was named Switzerland’s most sustainable energy provider by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy in 2020.
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