DFLEX project verified the applicability of flexibility aggregation
The consortium members presented the results of the DFLEX project on the topic of involving consumers who can change their electricity consumption in a targeted way in the management of the electricity system. The project produced valuable outputs, some of which have already been put into practice.
The Dflex project verified the way of involvement and management of flexibility providers on the consumption side and defined the relationships between the aggregator, the electricity supplier, the flexibility provider and CEPS as the transmission system operator. It also tested how to evaluate and financially settle the provided flexibility. It was also established whether the flexibility offered is compatible with the standard requirements of CEPS for power balance services.
In addition to verifying the possibility of using flexibility aggregation in the Czech Republic, the main contribution of the Dflex project was the development of algorithms for evaluating the flexibility provided and financial settlement of the services provided. The results of the project were presented by the consortium members at a workshop held on 22 March 2023 in the building of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic.
DFLEX was implemented under the programme of the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic named THÉTA. Its main beneficiary was CEPS, the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics of the Czech Technical University, Prague Energetics and Digital Energy Services from the Nano Energies group also participated in the project. The application guarantor was the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic, the associate partner was the City of Prague.
"The outputs of the project have shown that the use of the consumption side for the purpose of providing SVR is necessary, however, for a wider dissemination, e.g. at the low voltage level, it is necessary to solve some other issues. For example, the exact settlement of SVR and the related correction of the electricity supplier's diagram for customers where the independent aggregator uses flexibility," says Svatopluk Vnouček, Vice-Chairman of the CEPS Board of Directors responsible for strategy, innovation and development of the transmission system.
"We have demonstrated the potential for effective cooperation between academic and industry partners not only by engaging experts with years of experience, but also by using the capabilities and tools to analyze data or validate different aggregation models. Thanks to this, the market adjustments proposed by the DFLEX project are better adapted to the needs and possibilities of the Czech energy sector," says Ondřej Mamula, Head of the Energy Group, Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics, CTU.
"From the beginning, the project faced a number of challenges, especially its complexity, timelessness and application limitations. Thanks to the active approach of all project participants and selected flexibility providers from among the customers of Pražská energetika, it was possible to successfully deal with most of these challenges and complete the project. The current state of the SVR market confirms that the inclusion of flexibility on the consumption side in the provision of power balance services has a future and the interest in provision by flexibility providers is currently growing significantly," says Marek Záruba, Head of Trading at Pražská energetika.
"The Dflex project made sense. It proved that a really large number of customers could be involved in the ancillary services if the conditions for using flexibility on the consumption side were set correctly. I believe that to reach their potential in the time and quantity we need, we need independent aggregation - and Dflex clearly showed that the Czech Republic would benefit from its introduction," says Stanislav Chvála, CEO of Nano Energies. "Personally, I also see it as important that we are setting the relationships between the market players - between the flexibility aggregator, the trader and the transmission system operator - and that the need to further develop data work between market players has been confirmed."
The project has produced valuable outputs, some of which have already been implemented during the project - for example in the form of amendments to the Transmission System Operation Rules (TS Code) Part II, which came into force on 1 January 2021. Further changes will be implemented in the coming years. It also identified a number of related topics and questions that need to be answered. For this, follow-up research activities and projects are considered necessary.
Aggregator: an entity that takes flexibility from multiple generators and/or consumers and converts it into standard products that are then offered on different electricity or SVR markets. In the case of an integrated aggregator, this is the electricity supplier directly, but as an independent aggregator, it can also be a third party.
Consumer flexibility: the ability of consumers to change their electricity consumption in a targeted way and for a fee.
TS Code: the Transmission System Operation Rules (TS Code) contain information for market participants and minimum technical, design, and operational requirements for the connection and use of the transmission system.
Power Balance Services (PBS): Through PBS, CEPS maintains the balance between the generation and consumption of electricity which is a prerequisite for the functioning of the entire electricity system.