Integrating sustainable energy in a socially diverse neighbourhood – Gent – Jan. 19 – Sept. 21
The Buurzame Stroom project is a grassroots initiative tackling the challenge of integrating sustainable energy in the historic and socially diverse city neighbourhood of Gent-Dampoort.
The project ran from March 2018 to January 2020 and provided 2,535 solar panels in Sint-Amandsberg and Dampoort. Project was a collaboration between Energent, Samenlevingopbouw, the City of Ghent as well as grid manager Fluvius, energy supplier Ecopower, Ghent University and the civil cooperative Partago.
Yet the project goal was not only to install up to 700kWp of solar panels, but also ‘smartening’ the use of this locally produced energy making the neighborhood a sustainable, net-positive contributor to the larger grid. For this purpose, Energent participated in 2 European projects that are relevant for the ROLECS purpose of implementing the European framework on energy communities.
Interreg NWE cVPP project
cVPP stands for a community Virtual Power Plant. Within project, an energy management system was constructed that tested the feasibility of community involvement (community as neighbourhood) in the following value propositions
Peakshaving on PV, as a possible way to lower future congestion issues in the low voltage grid
Voltage control, as a possible way to lower congestion problems in the low voltage grid
Collective self consumption on a neighbourhood level, as a potential way to reduce dependence of the higher voltage grid.
This community involvement was tested on 13 households provided with PV and a 6,6 kWh battery system, 3 households with a hybrid heat pump and several companies.
The cVPP project started in 12/2017 and will end in 2022 (after a capitalisation phase). It is a collaboration between 3 countries (the Netherlands, Ireland and Belgium) with Technical University of Eindhoven as lead partner.
Horizon2020 project RESCOOP VPP
Further value propositions, new EMS hardware and a new energy community concepts are tested in the RESCOOP VPP project. In this project, the energy cooperative is considered as the energy community, and the value propositions concerns optimization of individual households consumer profiles that are part of a larger energy community. Among others, this involves an EMS working on self consumption, dynamic prices (and capacity tariffs) and FCR.
The Rescoop VPP project started mid 2020, and will end in 2023. It is a collaboration of cooperatives and groups of cooperatives from 7 different EU countries.
Primary objectives of this site
The main objective in this project is to gain experiences and know-how on how to start the organization of a CEC (citizen energy community) and REC (renewable energy community), starting with the knowledge gained from above mentioned EU projects.
Within the Buurzame Stroom pilot, specific attention is given to inclusion and socially diverse neighborhoods, as well as technical boundaries such as historic city grids.
Energent: pilot side leader, recruiting participants, installation, testing, reporting
UGhent: development and integration of LEC control strategies, technical support
City of Ghent: communication support
City of Ghent has published an article about the project (in Dutch) here.