FlexiGrid has been running for just about over a year. We talk to project manager Douglas Almquist at IMCG. Hi Douglas, one year into the project, what is the status? Are we on the right track?
FlexiGrid is definitely up and running. Covid-19 has impacted our work negatively, but we are adapting and have learned a lot about collaboration without physical meetings. Even if I think everybody longs to meet in person for discussions, I think a lot of our new methods of collaboration will be a permanent feature in the future. We are starting to see delays in some parts of the project, which means we must work agilely and adapt to meet these new situations.
Can you give an overview of what is going on in the different parts of Europe where FlexiGrid is operating?
FlexiGrid is a huge project, and the different Work Packages are almost projects in their own right. People have been focusing on their Work Package and to get things running smoothly there. As the different parts of the project move forward, we start to see were they need to interact, and this puts an added relevance to our work to integrate the project into a whole. Examples of this is the four different Demo Sites and how they are to collaborate more moving forward. Another is the IoT platform and the market interface, including use of Blockchain technology.
We are also getting a deepening understanding of the differences between the different regions. These differences in how the energy grid is set up and run will of course impact the solutions being developed and how they can be used in the different markets. This is seen not least in our DSO:s (Distribution System Operators) and how and why they do what they do in different regions and settings. Having project partners from all over Europe makes it easier to see these differences and try to address them from the beginning. We are now also starting to plan for our big Spring meeting, where everybody will get the chance to see and discuss the whole of the project and upcoming developments.
Which is the path forward for FlexiGrid?
FlexiGrid is a research and innovation project. It will stay true to its mission of causing impact in the flexible smart grids’ solution space. Impact will be measured by our ability to:
- contribute to enhance the flexibility of the sort of distribution grids that have a large share of variable renewables.
- develop and demonstrate local energy market platforms for energy exchange between market players at the distribution grids;
- increase the security of supply and allow the DSO to use the flexibility as and when needed
- contribute to the Clean Energy for All Europeans package through a more secure and resilient electrical distribution system as well as more affordable green energy for all.