Page 27 - European Energy Innovation - Summer 2017 publication
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Summer 2017 European Energy Innovation  27


(Em)powering local
flexibility aggregation

The European project entitled “Mas2tering” exploits                       INNOVATIVE BUSINESS MODELS FOR DEPLOYMENT OF
            the Multi-Agent System (MAS) paradigm of Artificial            THE MAS PLATFORM AND PROSUMER COMMUNITIES
            Intelligence in the context of low-voltage (LV)               To utilize the MAS Platform and make it a viable business
            power grids for residential customers to develop              opportunity, local aggregators will manage the flexibility
technologies that will empower cyber-secure active demand                 provided by prosumers belonging to the same community,
response (DR) in domestic and small-scale commercial                      enabling local LV flexibility management and in turn
applications. Mas²tering is an acronym that stands for                    supporting higher-voltage (industrial) grid-connected
“Multi-agent systems and secured coupling of telecom and                  parties by softening peaks & troughs. This local aggregator
energy grids for next generation smart grid services.”                    employs a multi-sided business model connecting
                                                                          prosumers, energy retailers and distribution system
MOTIVATION & APPROACH                                                     operators (DSOs) in the LV grid. Early adopters of this
Evidence suggests that residential flexibility will dominate               disruptive business model are likely to be incumbent utilities
EU demand response potential by 20301 – but is (as of                     and/or telecoms competing for customer base retention or
today) the least utilized and least available source of                   acquisition. Moreover, the MAS Platform and its associated
flexibility due to its decentralized nature, technological                 business models allow existing energy aggregators to
and regulatory barriers, which in turn provide the                        extend their existing (industrial/commercial) flexibility
motivation to empower consumers to act, make smart                        portfolios “down” to the residential level.
home and networks a reality and to ensure data protection
and participation in fair and transparent market-based                    INITIAL RESULTS OF MAS²TERING AND NEXT STEPS FOR
offers. If the potential of residential flexibility can be                 MAS PLATFORM COMMERCIALIZATION
unlocked then some of the concerns about electrification,                  • Local balancing saves up to 10% of LV grid losses and
renewables and grid reliability would be addressed while
simultaneously increasing consumer choice opening new                         supports deferral of investment for grid reinforcement
business collaboration opportunities. As such, Mas2tering                 • Prosumers can save up to 30% of their energy cost (as a
enables consumers and prosumers alike with smart
devices to participate in sharing electricity within the                      function of available flexibility)
local community (low-voltage grid) through small to large                 • The solution allows up to 20% higher renewable hosting
flexibility aggregators – all powered up by a set of business
models, developed in close collaboration with key industry                    capacity of the grid
stakeholders.                                                             • Local optimization of flexibility can be easily integrated

INTEGRATED TECHNOLOGIES BEING DEVELOPED BY                                    into existing energy market mechanisms
• Energy Boxes of Telecom Italia S.p.A for connecting                     What’s next? Mas2tering has focused on a restricted part of
                                                                          the grid and on planning and validating the optimal use of
    home smart appliances with the smart meter and acting                 local flexibility with a market mechanism compatible with
    as gateway to the rest of the grid                                    day-ahead and intraday energy markets. Next steps are to
• MAS optimization framework for algorithms that enable                   extend the MAS Platform capabilities to the operational
    decentralized flexibility management, developed by                     phase (close to real time) and to integrate it into larger
    The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy                     portions of the grid. ●
    Commission (CEA)
• Real-time weather, energy generation and load                           Contact details:        Email:
    forecasting for individual houses to LV grid developed by             Web:
    Cardiff University
• Early warning system for cyber security monitoring,                                        This project has received funding from the
    developed by Airbus Cybersecurity                                                        European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme
                                                                                             for research, technological development and
Deliberate and cutting edge, a MAS approach means that                    demonstration under grant agreement no 619682
decisions are taken by “agents,” e.g. the devices themselves
in a cost-effective manner using optimization algorithms. A
MAS Platform is then used to coordinate the DR actions of
the agents in its domain.

1 “Impact Assessment Study On Downstream Flexibility, Price Flexibility,
Demand Response & Smart Metering – Final Report”, EU Commission DG
Energy, July 2016
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