Reducing Energy Supply Requirements Using Microgrids and Energy Storage

Microgrids - FinEst Large Pilot - FinEst Centre for Smart Cities

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Project Leader


Dr. Tarmo Korõtko

This project aims to reduce requirements for electricity supply through optimized consumption and decrease carbon-intensive electricity production by simplifying the uptake of renewable energy. Instead of consuming electricity based on real-time demand, the use of energy storage and control systems enables to alter the electricity consumption profile and compensate for the intermittent output of generators utilizing renewable energy. The objective is achieved through the use of electric microgrids, which are formed by a digital low voltage substation with an integrated energy storage system and a dedicated software platform. 

The project provides municipalities means to solve their energy supply problems, whilst also increasing the uptake of carbon-neutral energy through the simplified formation of electrical microgrids and closed electricity distribution grids. As a result of this project, recommendations for policymakers and a concept of creating microgrids through a scalable product are provided. Additionally, empirical evidence from actual environments is used to carry out high-quality research focused on energy storage systems, cyber-security in electricity grids, energy policy and markets. The pilots are planned to be carried out in Lääne-Harju Parish in Paldiski and in the city of Tartu. 

 

The city of Tartu is drafting new energy- and climate action plan, the aim of which is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 at the latest. One important element of the plan is the local production of renewable energy as well as its consumption locally on the ground and the creation of energy unions in local communities. The local networks proposed in the project will directly contribute to the achievement of the city's goals and enable the development of a sustainable renewable energy supply system in the long run. 

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Tarmo Korõtko says that “We will witness increased integration of renewable energy sources and energy storages into the electricity grid during the next decades. With this project, we intend to make it easier for municipalities, private companies and energy communities to implement such solutions. I strongly believe in forming an environment that is self-sustainable and this project is how we do our part in reaching this goal.” 

 

The extensive use of digital solutions in the electric power system requires increased emphasis on cyber security. One aim of our research is focused on increasing the security of cyber-physical systems through the implementation of secure-by-design principles. Another area of interest is the economic feasibility of energy storage systems for improving power quality in urban electricity distribution systems. Also, matters regarding energy markets and policies are investigated to compose recommendations for policymakers with the aim to simplify the integration of renewable energy into the existing electricity grid.

The pilot project is 100% financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research.