Community energy systems are a promising solution for achieving European energy and climate goals
Ambitious EU climate goals cannot be achieved without the close cooperation of national institutions, local authorities, companies and individuals.
Ambitious EU climate goals cannot be achieved without the close cooperation of national institutions, local authorities, companies and individuals.
Introduction In most energy communities CREATORS encounter the topic of involving the relevant stakeholders, regardless of the energy community's particular characteristics, choice of technology, location, etc. A precondition for a…
The Horizon Europe research and innovation project CREATORS, which is offering sites across Europe early access to testing the future of dependable, net-zero local energy management - the community energy…
A community energy system allows citizens and businesses to power themselves affordably and securely even in times of energy crisis. But to realise this potential across Europe, we first need…
Introduction | What is a digital twin? How does it work in HIL? The renewable energy transition is underway, with current events pushing away from fossil fuels and non-renewables such…
The city of Burgos, part of the region of Castilla y León, hosts our Tier 2 Pilot Parque Industrial Villalonquéjar. Burgos is considered to be the 3rd largest industrial city in Spain, and it’s deeply committed to the implementation of renewable energy technologies in the area to boost the economy and electrify in an innovative and accessible way.
The Villalonquéjar Industrial Park is the principal industrial and services infrastructure in the Burgos region, with more than 12.000 employees and 600 industries within the automotive, food, chemistry and metallurgic sectors with an average annual energy consumption of over 300 GWh. To overcome this challenge, they will install a 60MW wind park and 2MW PV roof-top panels. CREATORS Tier 2 pilot arose from an initiative of COMSA Corporación and with the help of Promueve Burgos as a research participant, started to promote a local energy community with an industrial focus.
In the long term, the goal is to support the creation of various interconnected smart energy communities, working together to produce and consume renewable energy locally. This Tier 2 pilot will serve as a test site to ensure the technical and economic viability of the proposition.
The CREATORS Caribbean Community Energy System, in cooperation with ENERGIPOLE, is located in Sainte Rose, Guadeloupe, France. Like other overseas regions, Guadeloupe constitutes a small isolated electrical system, due to its size and the lack of electric interconnection to a continental grid. And thus, being electrically isolated, island areas must themselves generate the energy they consume and renewable energy is key to having green electricity production. In 2019, 22% of the electricity in Guadalupe came from renewable energy.
The pilot consists of various SMEs in the town of Sainte Rose and currently combines a variety of energy vectors such as a Solar PV installation of 3,3 MW of capacity, 1,45 MW biogas installed capacity, a 16 MW wind energy farm and a 3,3 MWh of battery storage. The Guadeloupe community aims to couple PV energy and wastewater heat recovery between different SMEs. Furthermore, ENERGISOURCE will study the impact and the potential benefit of implementing a hydraulic battery (hydraulic pump/turbine system) coupled with solar panels. The idea is to study the feasibility (economically, legally, commercially, etc) and the potential benefit of such a system for the community.
The Tier 2 Pilot site located in the Netherlands consists of a protected industrial heritage building and head office of the regional social housing provider Parteon, near the capital Amsterdam. In collaboration with our partner Bax & Company the project is developed by Starke Energy.
The system initially consists of two buildings with rooftop PV, several e-vehicle charging points and a storage system of 150 kWh. The ambition is to showcase how connected storage can improve the energy balance in buildings, in between buildings and the low-voltage energy grid. Parteon has a portfolio of 15,000 units for which it has an ambitious energy efficiency and generation programme, following Dutch housing policies. At the same time, the area is faced with significant congestion challenges; limiting the options for installing large-scale PV of building services electrification. If successful, the pilot will be the basis for a roll-out to Parteon’s social housing units.
The CREATORS Bulgarian Tier 2 pilot is located in the town of Kostinbrod, Bulgaria. Kostinbrod town is the center of a 20 thousand population city, located 20 km away from the capital of Bulgaria – Sofia. The city hosts the regional waste disposal facility, located at its former recultivated landfill. The energy community consists of a town and 50 SMEs.
Environmental Project Management Ad and the City of Kostinbrod are partners in Kostinbrod Eco Regional Waste Management Center, a waste processing and recovery centre that not only treats and recycles waste but also produces energy from waste. Together with Cordeel Bulgaria EAD are the main engineering and construction contractors of the site. The site could combine a variety of energy vectors such as PV panels on the already recultivated landfill cells, biogas production from the landfill cells in operation and hydro turbine energy.
CREATORS aim is the implementation of sustainable solutions in the area. There is a huge potential for replicability in 55 regional waste disposal sites in Bulgaria, especially those located adjacent to the old recultivated city ones.
The BTC City Ljubljana mall is located in the heart of Ljubljana, the economic, political, and cultural centre of Slovenia, and European Green Capital 2016. The BTC mall is one of the largest business, commercial, logistics, leisure and innovation centres in Europe, with more than 21 million visits per year, 4 thousand business partners, 475.000 m2 of surface area, a water park, a bowling center, a city, etc.
The Tier 2 pilot consists mainly of energy infrastructure: 12 transformer stations, 8 km of district heating network, 12 km of water supply network, a large battery, 5 emergency diesel generators, 2 PV plants and 20 EV charging points. BTC’s annual consumption in 2020 was 32,000 MWh of electricity and 17,000 MWh of district heat. BTC is generating renewable electricity with solar plants with an annual generation of more than 1,100 MWh in 2020. In 2021, a battery storage system of 8 MWh capacity was installed.
BTC goals cover an active and coordinated management of all energy vectors to reduce the total energy consumption and with CREATORS, to have the opportunity to showcase the value of new local renewable energy systems (RES) capacity to the local stakeholders and motivate for additional investment into sustainability.
The CREATORS’ Barcelona energy community is located in the Port of Barcelona, a complex known as “Fisher dock”. The community consists of fisher houses from the fishermen cooperative, a fish market, an ice factory, a restaurant and two buildings at the port, thus combining different types of energy consumers. The long-term ambition of the port is to support the creation of various small renewable energy islands at the port territory and interconnect them in order to steer the renewable uptake in the port territory and avoid wider grid reinforcement.
The CREATORS’ Barcelona energy community plans to install 3 Solar PV integrated systems of approximately 494 kWp that will account for around 708 MWh of annual generation. This amount of renewable energy could potentially cover the 92% of total energy consumption if self-consumption was 100%. The aim is to benchmark different institutional and business models to become a net zero energy island. Implementing appropriate control strategies and combining renewable energy sources (RES) with storage while using CREATORS’ solutions is expected to increase renewable self-consumption ratio from 44% to 68%.
The Port of Barcelona is Catalonia’s principal transport and services infrastructure and a benchmark port in the Euro-Mediterranean area. The increasing maritime traffic of goods and people implies a high presence of ships that impact on the pollution of the area. It is a crucial objective of the port to reduce this polluting emissions and thus try to find new innovative ways to electrify the port and generate locally renewable energy. CREATORS’ pilot arose from a joint initiative between the PORT OF BCN and COMSA Corporacion who contacted the different stakeholders involved in the Fisher Dock and started to promote an Energy Community.
Jesenice is located in the west part of Slovenia. The Jesenice CREATORS’ energy community is built upon collaboration between local consumers, public entities, the local DSO and a large industrial site SIJ Acroni. SIJ Acroni steel plant, one of the largest energy consumers in Slovenia, has a large industrial battery of 12.6 MW (22.2 MWh), 5MW of rooftop PV is planned, plus a small facility for hydrogen production from excesses of renewable energy sources (RES) electricity in the Slovenian Power System. ACRONI has plans to utilize approximately 25 MW of low-grade waste heat and feed it to the district heating networks of the nearby towns of Koroška Bela and Jesenice (15,000 inhabitants). The District Heating Network operator estimates a potential reduction of their natural gas consumption by 50-75% with the implementation of this waste heat recovery solution.
This pilot case is aimed at (i) integrating and coordinating the traditionally decoupled energy sectors (electricity, heat, gas) at various levels (supply, demand, storage) by leveraging on the available thermal and electrical storage units and (ii) maximizing the profit of each stakeholder.
The pilot at Jesenice consists mainly of the SIJ Acroni steel plant and more than a thousand households. Company SIJ Acroni is a member of steel division of SLOVENIAN STEEL GROUP (SIJ) and is a producer of flat rolled steel products using modern recycling techniques, where steel production is based on the reuse of secondary raw materials. SIJ Group’s is planning its activities taking into account the targets of the European Green Deal and the National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), which the Republic of Slovenia adopted in 2020. Although the production process generates carbon emission, SIJ Acroni operates according to the principles of circular economy and plans to make decarbonisation a strategic priority, to work on enhancing environmental practices and energy efficiency and reduce the non-renewable energy sources in all parts of the production process. The biggest potential is to use the excess heat from its production process to reuse it within the process itself in the form of hot water and steam, and to feed the surplus in the district heating network for the nearby municipality of Jesenice. As a big electricity consumer, SIJ Acroni has plans to produce renewable energy for self-consumption coming from solar PV and potentially hydroelectric energy and is also studying possible ways to use its infrastructure to produce green hydrogen. With a large rooftop for a PV installation, SIJ Acroni has potential to promote new business models for community funding, encouraging citizens to participate and create an energy community. Different local stakeholders, both private and public entities, are supporting this project since they consider this project beneficial to the villages nearby and ensures the sustainability of the business.
The Temse “De Zaat” community energy system is located in East Flanders, Belgium. The community consists of a business park, medium size industrial facilities and residential buildings. The ambition is to create an energy community incorporating new technology and business models. The yearly consumption of the community was 2.797 MWh in 2019, and will further increase. The site combines variety of generation and storage assets such as rooftop and floating PV, Hydrogen, battery storage, hydropower, V2G and pumped hydro.
The goal of the ‘De Zaat’ will be the creation of an energy community where individual existing and new technologies are interconnected into a multi-vector future-proofed market optimising local demand-generation as well as distribution network congestion. Interaction with home-owners will demonstrate energy bill savings and the business case for a mixed ownership model for renewable energy installations. The Temse CES will demonstrate the patented “energy hill”; a pumped hydro installation and a zero-energy pump will be integrated: 1) to balance the grid (FCR) and 2) as innovative way to generate energy. Hydrogen (H2) will be also used to store and regenerate energy with a fuel cell as well as to providing services to the grid such as FCR. The H2 installation will be used also to compress H2 and use this as fuel for the heavy-duty transportation.
This pilot was promoted by the Construction Company Cordeel and aims to include both industrial and residential buildings in the area. Initially it is composed of multiple buildings operated by Cordeel including Cordeel’s headquarters, production facilities, a woodshop and a supply unit among other buildings, and potentially will include other industrial facilities in the business park and nearby residential buildings. The pilot combines different generation and storage assets installed in Cordeel’s buildings that allow to have a 70% of self-consumption rate, including solar PV installations, battery storage, EV charging points and other assets in the planning phase such as tidal energy for production and storage. Involving industrial and residential consumers with different load profiles shows potential to increase the utilization of renewable energy on-site and bring environmental benefits. Cordeel, as one of the largest construction companies in Belgium, aims to be involved in the whole process of setting up energy communities, from the construction of the buildings to the installation, operation and maintenance of the energy infrastructures and the energy community.
The city of Tartu, located in southeast Estonia, is the “EC Smart Cities programme lighthouse city”. The pilot at Tartu site will be the first solar energy community in Estonia and it will serve as a testbed of business models and different ownership models to replicate both within the Tartu city and in other municipalities.The energy community, promoted by the City Government and Tartu Regional Energy Agency (TREA) will consist of several buildings and distributed energy sources. On the consumption side there is a public multifunctional building that hosts private entities (Anne public sauna, Tartu pesumaja laundry service and city social department office), a multi apartment building “Anne 51” from a housing cooperative and additionally there is a kindergarten that has the potential to be included. On the generation side there is a PV installation on top of the Multifunctional building owned by Tartu pesumaja that has excess energy that is sold back to the grid and it is planned to make a new PV installation on top of the multi apartment building. The idea is to encourage citizens from the multi apartment to jointly invest on the solar installation and to create an energy cooperative. Additionally there is an EV charging station used by the social department of social services that will also be a part of the energy community. Due to the difference and compatibility on the commercial and residential load profiles, the aim is to use CREATORS’ project to optimize and increase the usage of renewable energy while decreasing the air pollution and greenhouse gases emissions.
The complex will be connected with a commercial building and flexibility will be improved through V2G services and coupling with local waste heat network where possible. The core aim of Tartu city within the project is to explore ways to engage with individual homeowners and homeowner associations and finding equitable ways to share communal renewable energy installations and incentivising homeowners and local businesses to jointly invest in renewable energy capacity in eastern Europe. 1,3MWp are planned to be installed on public buildings of which 100kWp is in the CREATORS’ community energy system (CES) neighbourhood. The Tartu community will establish a local community market of renewable energy for the use of local SMEs and citizens.
As the first solar energy community in Estonia, Tartu will explore new ownership and contracting models that will govern the local system. CREATORS energy management platform, that will be adapted to the Estonian ESTFEED data platform (TSO), will unlock the business model for communal investment in PV capacity for MFH and explore benefits of sector coupling with the residential sector, thus reaching higher energy efficiency and increased share of renewables.
Trusted by leading multinational and regional companies, the BTC Company is one of the leading commercial property development companies in the region. Under the brand name BTC City, it operates one of the largest business, shopping, entertainment, recreational, and cultural centers in Europe, located in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. The BTC Company also runs a logistics service unit, which holds the leading market position in FMCG logistics in Slovenia.