Scaling-up Power Flexible Communities business models empowered by Blockchain and AI
Improving control over energy demand and cost
Businesses' need for energy has increased dramatically over the years. To satiate this need, companies had to buy more and more energy with little ability to control the precise amount or price. This in our modern world is emphasised by the problem posed by climate change, a problem that this lack of control over energy provision is aiding.
The EU-funded FleXunity project will provide a new and innovative series of services that will assist retailers and community members with minimising energy costs while also improving their flexibility when it comes to demand. The project plans to do this by using a virtual power plant technology accompanied by AI algorithms focused on minimising energy costs.
FleXunity on Cordis
The objective of FleXunity project is to deploy novel services for retailers and aggregators, enhanced by Virtual Power Plant (VPP) technology empowered with AI algorithms that can be focused on minimizing the cost of energy (bought in the wholesale market) and optimizing the use of distributed renewables from the utility or community portfolio. The proposed energy community approach will promote active participation of end-users (community members) valuating their flexibility and energy sharing actions, which will be supported by secure transaction mechanisms with technologies such as blockchain to validate energy transactions.
These services will include a tariff structure optimisation design for the Energy Community to be able to meet the needs of the Transmission System Operator (TSO) by aggregating the flexibility to participate in balancing and ancillary services markets as a Balance Service Provider (BSPs) or provide Demand Response (DR) services to the Distribution System Operators (DSO). The key project outcomes will be achieved by testing and demonstrating the proposed services in two distinct pilots with very different market conditions: UK energy market (open mature market); Iberia energy market (in transformation – opening to use flexibility from demand-side).
Given the nonexistence of a common legal framework across Europe, this will help us to validate different stakeholder benefits in close and open energy markets, which will enhance the full commercial roll-out after this 2-year project. These envisaged innovative services will allow utilities to maximize their profit and enable new business models from managing multiple energy flexibility assets, introducing flexibility as a new tradable asset in their business portfolios, and allow energy costs savings sharing with end-users, enhancing the use of renewables and support energy security and climate change challenges.