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Modernising the distribution grid

New project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research and Innovation Foundation has been launched.

The project “Modernising the distribution grid for enabling high penetration of photovoltaic electricity through advanced data analytic operational observability and management” (acronym: ELECTRA), which is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research and Innovation Foundation, under the programme “Integrated Projects” kicked-off in Cyprus in June 2020.

The ELECTRA project brings together research centres, enterprises, policy makers and regulators that will strengthen their ties and collaborate through established synergies to achieve the project objectives. The consortium comprises of the University of Cyprus (UCY-Cyprus), the lead partner, Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT-Austria), Technical University of Denmark
, Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC-Cyprus), GESOLAR Ltd (GESOLAR-Cyprus), Deloitte (DT-Cyprus), Cyprus Energy Agency (CEA-Cyprus), Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry (MECIT-Cyprus), Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority (CERA-Cyprus) and Cyprus Certification Company (CCC-Cyprus).

The main objective of the integrated project is to fuse together extensive interdisciplinary scientific research in the field of grid integration of renewable energy sources (RES) and to target the major challenges and barriers to increase RES integration by enabling dynamic, automated and cost-effective management of smart distribution grids.
Essentially, the main aim of the ELECTRA project is to pave the way for increased penetration of distributed generation (DG) systems (predominantly solar photovoltaic systems), to be integrated and optimally managed at the istribution grid. Since the rapid growth and uptake of the photovoltaic sector, which is also
associated with the potential of the grid to accommodate the uncertainty and
variability of DG, a key factor that will boost the further increase and uptake of the technology is to enable the efficient and reliable operation of future distribution systems with high DG shares. This can be achieved by modernising the distribution grid for real-time predictive observability and automated control with the use of advanced data analytics that leverage machine-learning principles. Another important aspect of this project is also the development of an intelligent multi-service distribution management system (end-solution) that will provide and deliver the required bi-directional electricity flow control and flexibility in distribution grids with high RES shares.

The scientific breakthrough of this project lies, primarily, in the holistic approach to address critical challenges that prevent high integration levels of photovoltaics in power system networks by implementing smart distribution system management tools that increase the visibility of RES and distributed energy resources. Such innovative tools further encompass operation-state estimation models of grid assets and facilitate novel RES control functionalities with the use of cost-effective programmable automation controllers. In addition, by balancing demand and supply of electricity through flexibility activities (supply-side - forecasting RES production and demand-side - through demand side management and consumption prediction) and storage, potential grid constraints will be mitigated by introducing energy flow adaptability.

Deloitte’s Role
Deloitte will be mainly responsible for the market development actions of the project but also with a substantial role in the scenario cost-benefit analysis and the analysis of the electricity market dimension. Most importantly, Deloitte will lead the activities for the exploitation and commercialisation of the end-solution.
Total Project Budget: €1,168,600.00
RIF Funding: €980,020.00
Project Duration: 36 months
Lead Partner: University of Cyprus
For more information, please contact the project coordinator:
Dr George Makrides
University of Cyprus
FOSS Research Centre for Sustainable Energy
Tel: +357 22894397