SmartNet is a EU-funded, 3-year research project on electricity grids interconnection together with 22 partners from all over Europe.
The first kick-off meeting of the project, took place on January 26th and 27th in Milan at the premises of RSE (Ricerca sul Sistema Energetico).
The SmartNet project is funded by the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) delegated by the European Commission in the framework of Horizon 2020. The funds granted for the whole project are about €13 million.
The research will focus on a crucial point at this stage of the EU electricity market’s development: how is to provide optimised instruments and modalities to favour the interactions between TSOs and DSOs, especially in managing the exchange of information for monitoring and for the acquisition of ancillary services; both at the domestic and cross-border dimension.
Partners in this project will be Technical University of Denmark (Denmark), Florence School of Regulation (European University Institute, Italy), VITO (Belgium), Endesa (Spain), Energinet.dk (Denmark), Terna (Italy) and Vodafone (Luxembourg).
On Day One (26th January) the project was officially introduced to a wide public of stakeholders, including journalists and specialists in the energy sector. The first Advisory Board was also scheduled on 26th, to enable a productive discussion between European TSOs, DSOs, Regulators and Research Institutes; Day Two (27thJanuary) was instead reserved just to the SmartNet partners.
SMARTNET: WHY? As an effect of the increasing amount of generation produced by Renewable Energy Sources (RES) with variable generation pattern and of the big changes affecting distribution (deployment of distributed generation, local storage and flexible loads), future distribution networks will inject a growing amount of energy into the transmission system. Variable generation located in distribution could be operated together with local storage and active demand in order to provide local services for the distribution grid (voltage regulation, congestion management) as well as services for the entire system through the connection point to the transmission grids. Till now, distribution networks have been managed with a fit-and-forget philosophy. In the future, strict real-time coordination will be needed between the different actors that are involved in the provision of ancillary services. Optimizing the interface between TSOs and DSOs will prove a crucial factor to ensure the achievement of an overall efficiency target.
SMARTNET: HOW? In three years, SmartNet aims at comparing different architectures for optimized interaction between TSOs and DSOs in managing the purchase of ancillary services (reserve and balancing, voltage regulation, congestion management) from subjects located in the distribution segment. An ad hoc simulation platform will be built up over three layers (physical network, market and ICT) in order to simulate three national cases (Italy, Denmark, Spain); this simulation platform will then be implemented in a full replica lab, where the performance of real controller devices can be tested. Three physical pilots will demonstrate modalities for exchanging monitoring and control signals between transmission and distribution networks and flexibility services that can be offered by entities connected to distribution, by exploiting thermal inertia of indoor swimming pools and distributed storage facilities of radio-base stations used for telecommunication.
Presentations available for download:
Gianluigi Migliavacca (Project Coordinator): The SmartNet Project
Gianluigi Migliavacca: General Assembly & Project Executive Board
Work Package 3: Communication and ICT Requirements
Work Package 5: Task 1 – Italian pilot project
Work Package 5: Physical pilots realisation
Work Package 7: Dissemination
Key Contributions from the Press
Quotidiano Energia: Via al progetto europeo Smartnet
Canale Energia: Interview – Ilaria Conti