Project: DYNAMO The Netherlands
Lineke Goorix works at Liander, the Dutch network operator. The company manages a distribution network serving more than 3 million domestic and commercial customers and is heavily focused on technical innovation. She has project management responsibility for one of its innovation projects, DYNAMO flex market development, which aims to establish and utilise a real-life flexibility market without simulation.
Creating a real-life solution for real-life challenges
‘The project came about for three reasons. Firstly, we have two locations which present us with specific distribution challenges because of rapidly-growing demand and therefore congestion. Secondly, we have developed and tested a number of smaller pilot smart energy projects historically and, thirdly, we have been a USEF partner from the outset. This combination meant that it made absolute sense for us to apply our existing knowledge, and USEF, in a real-life larger project to try and solve real-life problems. By doing this, we hope to create and promote a low-barrier, scalable flexibility market for others to join and also to stimulate individual users to make optimal choices.’
A faster route to solving higher demand and more renewables
‘There are five DYNAMO locations at present. One of these is in Nijmegen, in Gelderland, close to the German border. The Nijmegen-Noord district is growing very rapidly, with 8000 new residential homes and a business area in development. In addition, the renewables infeed growth is expected to see wind power double and an additional 5-8MW of solar. The impact of this growth is estimated to increase demand on the medium-voltage grid in the Nijmegen North area in particular, creating an overload of approximately 5MW in the near future. A new substation is being constructed to address this but the length of time required to build it meant that we had to find a temporary solution. The standard approach would be to spend considerable money installing a temporary cable. DYNAMO aims to avoid this by buying and utilising flexibility to avoid congestion.’
A secured Aggregator contract in place and active
‘We already have a tendered Aggregator contract in place which secures us as a single buyer of flexibility availability during congestion hours. These are always in the evening when demand is high, due to cold weather, but wind speeds are low or wind turbines are shut down due to freezing conditions. For now, we have chosen to notify Aggregators whether we will require flexibility during those periods one week in advance.’
An established maximum price
‘We guarantee a minimum number of activations and have established a maximum congestion price to ensure that the costs for utilising flexibility as a solution continue to compare favourably with the alternative temporary cabling solution. As an open market, anyone is free to join and we select the most cost-effective solution for us on a daily basis, with settlement based on the Aggregator’s D-plan.’
USEF makes it easier for everybody
‘The obvious benefits of USEF lie in the standards it provides and the fact that it is open and transparent. In practical terms, its detailed descriptions of roles, interactions and settlements can be read and understood by everybody and this saves time. If we are looking for a potential Aggregator and we tell them we use USEF, they already know what they need to do, which makes the relationship much easier for both sides.
A 2018 wish for more Aggregators
‘As the rapid pace of change in the industry continues to increase and the path to market entry becomes easier, my personal hope for 2018 is to see more Aggregators join the market, to increase the volume of flexibility available and create an increasingly competitive environment. These things are essential for an effective smart energy system that utilises flexibility.‘