USEF in Practice: An interview with Thomas Messervey
We believe that it’s important to share industry learning and best practice. With that aim in mind, this is the first in a series of interviews with leaders of active projects that have already adopted USEF.
An interview with: Thomas Messervey
Thomas is co-founder and CEO of R2M Solution. He also leads the business model development work package for Mas2tering. With 9 consortium partners and co-funded by the EU, the project aims to develop an ICT platform that integrates last mile connectivity solutions with distributed optimisation technologies, to enable monitoring and optimal management of the low-voltage distribution grid.
‘Mas2tering stands for Multi-Agent Systems and Secured coupling of Telecom and Energy grIds for Next Generation smartgrid services,’ said Thomas. ‘It’s a 3-year project. We started in September 2014 and are due to complete in August 2017.’
Two underlying challenges
‘In the background, we are working on two underlying challenges. The first is to provide consumers with greater choice and access to the electricity markets. The second is to deliver new solutions which address the current and future projected increased congestion and increased capacity requirements faced by DSOs in the LV grid.’
Interconnection and intercommunication to enable flexibility
‘The ICT platform we are developing combines the best in artificial intelligence and communications technologies and incorporates cutting-edge security technology to safeguard privacy. It will provide a means to better inform prosumers about their in-home energy generation, storage and use, and enable the creation of flexibility profiles at both individual prosumer and district or aggregator level. In turn, this will allow optimisation of the low-voltage grid by communicating available flexibility and allowing grid operators to draw on it in periods of grid stress. By making these things possible, we will also help foster the new business strategies, collaboration opportunities and business models that a flexibility market can offer to low voltage grid stakeholders.’
A common framework for interaction
‘We have adopted the market model (USEF Framework), Operational Regimes and Market Coordination Mechanism for evaluation purposes within the project. These provide a consistent framework for the interactions between the actors and market processes. Whereas USEF considers the entire electrical generation and distribution system, Mas2tering focuses on the subset surrounding the low voltage portion of the grid – although they are of course all connected.’
Free USEF research resources
The consortium learned of USEF in the course of its regular market watch activities. Thomas told us that they received announcements about the publication of the framework and began by researching the freely downloadable USEF documents, ‘The Framework Explained’ and ‘Framework Specifications 2015.’
USEF provides clarity, a common direction and saves time
‘We chose USEF for its clarity,’ said Thomas. ‘Developing smart grid solutions is a multidisciplinary task involving people with different skills and backgrounds. There are also differing opinions on how the current and future markets should look. Adopting USEF allowed us to provide a common reference point to everyone involved and got us all pointing in a common direction. It also created efficiency, by allowing us to focus on important strategic research activities rather than getting caught up with market models, interactions or processes. Connecting to a common framework also means that our results will be replicable, scalable and interoperable in the future which is important both for this project and the industry as a whole.’
What the future holds
We asked Thomas how he saw the future: ‘What the initial trigger of the flexibility market will be is a regular topic of debate, both for us and the rest of the industry. Will it be bottom-up, forged by local energy communities and consumer choice, or top-down driven by policy and regulations? Will it be driven by innovative technological developments, market necessity to address pressing congestion/capacity problems or by competitive pressures between market actors? The general consensus is that it will likely be a combination of these dynamics and happen in different places, at different times, across Europe. What we do agree on is that, once it is triggered, things will happen very quickly and our aim is to be prepared so we can help facilitate this. We believe that the best way to achieve this is by sharing project learning and best practice. This will encourage the creation of a market place based on a combination of the best available solutions and these should be available to anybody wanting to access that market so that there is a level playing field. These are beliefs that we know USEF shares.’
For further information about the Mas2tering project, please visit the website.
To be added to the Mas2tering stakeholder group and community, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org