Virtual Microgrids for Smart Energy Networks (VIMSEN)

Title: Virtual Microgrids for Smart Energy Networks (VIMSEN)

Funding: Seventh Framework Programme

Start date: February 2014

End date: January 201

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The subsidy feed in tariff policy, which has been recently adopted for accelerating renewable energy investments, cannot be retained as a sustainable business model for the future smart energy grid. This is mainly due to the fact that this policy increases the energy cost, especially when the amount of the energy generated by renewable sources is not negligible compared to the traditional ones, as is expected for the near future. Additionally, the current centralized electricity market prevents small or very small energy producers, who usually generate energy by renewable means-photovoltaic units or wind turbines- to participate. VIMSEN addresses the aforementioned difficulties by transforming the current centralized electricity market framework to a distributed one, introducing the concept of virtual micro-grid networks. Virtual micro-grids (VMGs) are associations of distributed energy generators and/or micro-grid networks, which they have been agreed to operate on a common basis. VMGs provides flexibility to small or very small energy generators, since, i) they can re-distribute energy resources with each other to compensate energy production-distribution and ii) they can directly participate in the electricity market through the respective association, which acts similarly as a big power generator unit. 

VIMSEN researches i) on an intelligent data metering techniques suitable for the VMG distributed network, ii) on information and decision making technologies for the dynamic VMG creation in a way to optimize participant benefits and macro-grid perspectives, iii) on a reliable communication infrastructure that permits QoS provisioning for data exchange in the VMG network and iv) on an active energy management and control tool for the operation of the virtual micro-grid as a common virtual power unit. Business models to investigate the trade-off between the benefits of the association and the cost of the technologies needed to establish the VMG network..