FARCROSS partners met online on the 22nd of November 2021 to discuss the project’s status and progress. Administrative, technical, and dissemination and exploitation sessions were all on the program. Members of the consortium discussed their accomplishments and decided on the next actions. For the time being, the COVID-19 limitations have had no effect on our activities.

A transformational grid enhancing technology, SmartValve™, has been successfully commissioned in Greece, marking the second deployment of power flow control technology by IPTO. By intelligently controlling the flows of power across the network, this technology can unlock available cross border interconnection capacity between Greece and Bulgaria.

The project is part of the FARCROSS Horizon 2020 project, which aims to increase cross border electricity flows across South-Eastern Europe and improve market coupling by leveraging innovative solutions.

Announcing the successful installation, George Papaioannou, Director of IPTO’s Research, Technology & Development Department, said “Innovative projects like this are key to Europe’s energy transition and we are delighted to be collaborating with Smart Wires and ESO to improve utilization of our existing networks.”

Mark Norton, Smart Wires’ Vice President, Business Development Europe commented “Increasing interconnection capacity across

Europe has been identified as a necessary enabler of market integration and reaching a decarbonized future.”

“This project will do just that – significantly increasing interconnection capacity and heralding a new era of solving grid challenges with rapidly deployable, flexible next-generation technology,” Mr. Norton said.

The technology works by pushing power off overloaded lines and pulling power on to underutilized lines; balancing power flows across multiple lines and relieving internal constraints that limit cross-border flows. The SmartValve technology was installed on the 150kV Nea Santa – Iasmos line.

Mr. Konstantinos Plakas, Research Electrical Engineer of IPTO’s Research, Technology & Development Department, said “Studies showed that additional capacity could be made available with the use of this technology”.

Mr. Christos – Spyridon Karavas, Senior Engineer and Technical Consultant of IPTO’s Research, Technology & Development Department, commented “This technology could potentially increase the capacity of the existing network and provide greater operational flexibility to manage constraints.”

This project builds on the previous Flexitranstore H2020 project which utilizes smart grid technologies to address the challenges of large-scale renewable energy integration and increasing grid flexibility. In this project, Smart Wires’ mobile power flow technology was initially installed in collaboration with IPTO in Greece and has recently been redeployed to Bulgaria with ESO to explore further uses cases of this technology to address some of the region’s most critical needs.

The first review of the FARCROSS H2020 Innovation Action research project with external reviewers and the Project Officer from the EC side took place on June 16, 2021, wherein the FARCROSS consortium successfully presented the results of the work of the project during the first 18 months of the project. The FARCROSS project aims to connect major stakeholders of the energy value chain and demonstrate integrated hardware and software solutions that will facilitate the “unlocking” of the resources for the cross-border electricity flows and regional cooperation. The project will promote state-of-the-art technologies to enhance the exploitation/capacity/efficiency of transmission grid assets, either on the generation or the transmission level.

UBITECH ENERGY research group, as the project’s technical coordinator, presented the project’s progress towards its technical and operational objectives, as well as a summary of the project’s achievements so far. The reviewers and the PO were impressed with the overall results of the project and provided some interesting feedback and recommendations for future work.

A Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) framework for cross border innovation projects regarding the electricity trading and smart grid technology will be conducted within WP9, to indicate how the FARCROSS concept and tools can provide significant value for the cross-border cooperation, smart grids and market coupling, achieving the targets for the Internal Energy Market.


 
The CBA plays an essential role within the FARCROSS project by:

  • Providing tangible KPIs to proportionate the pros-and-cons of “before” and “after” situations among the various countries involved in innovation projects.
  • Identifying and prescribing new business opportunities for energy stakeholders in cross-border electricity trading and smart grid technology provision.
  • Enhancing the efforts for regulatory harmonization by providing tangible proof of how beneficial cross-border smart grid and trading innovations are for the secure and clean energy future of the European electricity grid.
  • Enhancing the portfolio of solutions for the planning of cross-border infrastructure investments.

The broad perspective of the FARCROSS CBA will achieve to ‘channel’ local to cross-border benefits, facilitating the pathway to achieve EU targets regarding utilities, market designs, social benefits, business uptake of innovation and increased cross border cooperation.

As Europe attempts to dramatically redesign the interconnected transmission system by employing dynamic line ratings, the ⚡FARCROSS project will employ technological innovations to bring forward the additional benefits gained by increasing interconnectivity between neighboring transmission systems that strongly align with the EU’s vision and policy.

FARCROSS innovative solutions include not only state-of-the-art digital technologies installed on the power grid and communication infrastructure, such as power flow controllers, dynamic line rating sensing systems and wide-area monitoring systems (WAMS), but also advanced software solutions, including capacity allocation and reserve optimisation tools. These solutions are developed and demonstrated within eight European countries (Greece, Bulgaria, Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Romania, Slovenia).

Nevertheless, the demonstration of these solutions in pilot projects does not guarantee that they can be replicated in another environment, under different boundary conditions and under increasing stress conditions. Therefore, it is fundamental to guarantee the scalability and replicability of the system and its functionalities prior to large scale implementation.

For that purpose, a complete scalability and replicability analysis (SRA) will be conducted within FARCROSS WP9, to define a detailed plan of recommendations for rolling out of the hardware, software, solutions, platforms, tools and processes and adopt the proposed innovations at EU level.

 

The technical innovations provided in FARCROSS will be weighed against specific scalability and replicability factors and the EU energy targets.

 

  • Replicability factors are Standardization, Interoperability, Network configuration (technical factors), Macroeconomics, Market design, Business model (economic factors), Regulation, Acceptance.
  • Scalability factors are Modularity, Technology evolution, Interface design, Software integration, Existing infrastructure (technical factors), Economy of scale, Profitability (economic factors), Regulation, Acceptance.

These factors affect 4 common areas of interest:

 

Figure 1: Scalability and Replicability analysis focus areas

The scalability and replicability studies will assess the technical (i.e. network functions, dimensional issues), economic (i.e. monetizable KPIs) and regulatory (i.e. utilities regime, market design, market coupling, ITC status) aspects on a local but mainly international dimension, in order to serve the cross-border cooperation of the European countries.

OneNet aims at creating the conditions for a new generation of grid services able to fully exploit demand response, storage and distributed generation while creating fair, transparent, and open conditions for the consumer. As result, while creating one network of Europe, the project aims to build a customer-centric approach to grid operation. This ambitious view is achieved by proposing new markets, products and services and by creating a unique IT architecture.

OneNet will address the growing needs of TSO‘s and DSO’s to have real-time insight into the operation of their networks to work in a closely coordinated way, while unlocking and enabling new flexibility markets in a fair and open way. In this concept, FARCROSS, is one of the projects that OneNet will review in order to identify significant scalable technologies and practices implemented on the field regarding the inter-TSO coordination and regional cross-border cooperation. The OneNet project Consortium consists of 72 partners including some of our FARCROSS partners and therefore the collaboration between the two projects is well ensured.