With the Crowd Balancing Platform, Swissgrid launched a pilot project in Switzerland that targets the use of storage technologies for the provision of primary control energy. The project aims to balance short-term fluctuations in the transmission grid with the support of small decentralised energy sources.
Together with Alpiq, Swissgrid successfully tested the Swiss pilot project. The Crowd Balancing Platform is an innovative solution in the control energy market. It uses blockchain technology and Internet of Things (IoT). Equigy enables the integration of small, decentralised units – such as domestic battery storage potentially coupled with photovoltaic systems, small-scale hydropower systems, heat pump technology and even electric cars – into the control energy market. Swissgrid launched Equigy on 23 April 2020 in a consortium with the Transmission System Operators (TSOs) TenneT (Netherlands/Germany) and Terna (Italy). The platform is intended to set a new European standard and enable the four or possibly more national TSOs to work together to promote and improve the market for renewable energy.
With its experience with flexible, rapid implementation of new projects and its large, flexible technology and production portfolio, Alpiq proved to be the ideal partner for the Swiss pilot project. Alpiq takes on the role of commercial aggregator and thus links the technical aggregator that controls the controllable resources with the transmission system operator Swissgrid. In the pilot project, a 1.2 MW battery was used as a flexible energy resource. Alpiq offers aggregated flexibility in the market for ancillary services and provides primary control energy.
The process of calling up primary control power was successfully tested in the pilot project. This includes, in particular, the registration of flexible resources, the submission of offers and awarding of bids and the real-time monitoring of data exchange between Alpiq and Swissgrid. The question whether a blockchain can support the process of providing primary control power and whether aggregators or storage owners with backend systems can integrate the blockchain interfaces was answered with a yes. The features of the Crowd Balancing Platform that have been developed and tested have thus successfully demonstrated the potential of blockchain solution for the future support of primary control energy business processes. This is an important first milestone.
In the next steps, possible business models will be evaluated among the partners involved, such as the grid operator, commercial and technical aggregator and the system owners, by the end of the year.