local electric communities
/energy/


Backgrounder

French bylaw 2016-1019 (passed on 27 July 2016) will allow communities to self-supply electricity starting in 2017. That bylaw defines community self-supply in terms of power supplies that one or more producers and one or more consumers pool, and states that said producers and consumers must belong to a single organisation, and that the power must be sourced and supplied through a single low-voltage node in the public power distribution network.

The underlying idea is to promote “energy communities”, i.e. clusters of stakeholders that are physically connected to the same low-voltage node, that produce power in their own facilities (solar farms, for instance) and that have decided to source more of the power they consume from those facilities. These communities may choose to pool their electricity for financial, social and/or environmental reasons.

In these decentralised electricity communities, in other words, producers and consumers will be able to give, buy or sell electricity generated within their cluster and thereby lower their energy bills, optimise their investments and/or fulfil a civic duty.

This raises several questions, such as how to set up an energy sharing system scaled for a local community, how to connect energy producers and consumers, how they can trade energy at any time with a view to achieving predetermined objectives, and how to make these systems available to all.

 

the problem

How to set up an energy exchange system within a local community while minimising production and distribution costs.

 

use cases and experimented fields

The possible experiment fields for startups working on this challenge:

A real-life demonstrator at the Challenger facility in the Bouygues Energie & Services head office:
  • The consumers and producers belong to the same legal entity
  • The consumers and producers are connected to the same private network behind a single power-supply point
  • The consumers and producers will use a single interface
  • Consumption and production will be measured in real time using individual meters; consumers will probably be businesses
A real-life demonstrator at EDF’s Les Renardières facility (a concept grid):
  • The consumers and producers belong to the same legal entity
  • The consumers and producers are connected to the same private network behind a single power-supply point
  • The consumers and producers will use a single interface
  • Consumption and production will be measured in real time using Linky technology; consumers will be households and businesse

 

A virtual demonstrator, where entirely unrelated and remote sites pool their production and consumption charts (e.g. a Nexity building in Clichy Batignolles or buildings in Aix en Provence) and where :
  • The opportunities for transactions are analysed at a later time
  • An interface may be tested with users, but not in real-life conditions

 

The goal for the experiment will be to devise a demonstrator enabling real-time transactions based on a concept akin to an exchange, and to measure supply and demand. The challenges will inter alia include:

Connecting supply and demand Interfacing metering technology (case A and case B) Gathering and publishing information about energy flows bought, consumed and resold, and the information required to compile transaction totals, on both sides (producers and consumers) Enabling each system stakeholder to tally up transaction totals In light of the scenarios, contributing to orchestrating flows (e.g. a network balance management role suggesting tariffs based on purchasing habits, i.e. predictive deals encouraging load shedding, contributory deals, etc.)

Business opportunities for the stakeholders

The startups could supply solutions to various companies partnering this challenge:

  • EDF subsidiaries such as EDF ENRS could bundle the solutions into their service deals (e.g. Mon Soleil et Moi)
  • Bouygues Energies & Services (BYES) could do likewise, and is already involved in several Smart Grid projects
  • Nexity could blend the solutions into its property developments; Nexity Cities & Projects is packaging energy production and consumption pooling technologies into its projects
  • La Poste may use the solution in its buildings

 

Data Sets

 10-minute load charts for all consumption and production points included in identified experiment fields. 

partner experts

EDF:

Fabrice Casciani
R&D Project Manager. Expertise: smart grids, smart city, decentralised energy production

Gérald Kwiatkowski
R&D Project Manager. Expertise: smart grids, smart buildings, photovoltaic

BYES:

Marc Sarniguet
Head of Operations

Jean Bernard Sers
Head of Development, Smart Grid,
Smart Cities & IOT