The four-year, international FutureFlow research project, which includes 12 partners from eight European countries, is entering its final phase. Various types of customers and producers (more than 40 in total) from Austria, Hungary, Romania and Slovenia are already actively included in demand response (DR) and/or distributed generation (DG) services.
Many changes are occurring in the energy sector. An increasing amount of electricity is produced from renewable sources. However, the closure of traditional power plants will result in a lack of flexibility for balancing the network. In the future, that role will be assumed in part by customers and producers with the potential to become active participants in the energy system.
In the scope of the project, GEN-I has analyzed more than 600 industrial customers with the aim of preparing an overview of the potential of demand response in four countries. That analysis included various technologies, such as diesel generators, biogas power plants, small hydro power plants and solar power plants.
The company identified 40 customers and producers who adjusted their consumption or production in the scope of the project. In that way, it gained 29 MW in positive and 25 MW in negative capacities for regulating network frequency.
With a total of 54 MW in available flexible power, system operators are provided a source for ensuring the requisite quality and reliability of the electricity system. Simulations and analyses indicate that the introduction of these services in the four previously mentioned countries could reduce the costs of providing system services by 23%.
More than 106 hours of test activations were performed in the scope of the project, through which we demonstrated the tremendous potential of flexibility services for business and industrial customers. It was also shown that cross-border cooperation reduces the costs associated with balancing network frequency incurred by transmission system operators.