FutureFlow project: employing cross-border links and active consumers to balance frequencies in the electricity network

At a conference in Vienna, 12 partners from eight European countries brought to a conclusion a four-year international project that was launched with the aim of searching for solutions to balance the electricity system in a changing electricity environment. GEN-I’s development team participated in the project, which was coordinated by the Slovenian company ELES.

Figure 1: Rok Lacko, Head of Energy Services Development GEN-I

Our team addressed the role of progressive consumers, who in the future should be capable of increasing or decreasing their own electricity consumption in a matter of seconds, and thus partly assume the function that today is performed by large, traditional electricity producers. Included in pilot tests were 96 active consumers from Austria, Hungary, Slovenia and Romania with 50 MW of capacity to offer flexibility. Following more than 300 hours of various tests, the results indicated that the participation of active consumers in providing an automatic frequency restoration reserve is technically possible.

Numerous adaptations to both the regulatory framework and the thinking of all of those involved are still required for the implementation of solutions in practice. The efficiency of the system must be optimized, while the same flexibility of consumption or for different services must be facilitated.

Regardless of the challenges that must be faced, Janez Kopač, Director of the Energy Community Secretariat, who also hosted the final conference, concluded by saying that the results of the FutureFlow project will soon be used in real life, as the introduction of developed solutions will make the lives of electricity consumers easier and contribute to the achievement of greenhouse gas reduction targets by 2050.

In addition to scientific findings, FutureFlow also brought prototype solutions that can be used by the industrial sector in the real economy.

To read more about the project and the results thereof, visit the website FutureFlow.