Location: Strijp-S, Eindhoven, the Netherlands
When: since 2018
Video about Interflex (in Dutch)
Pressure on the Dutch electricity grid will continue to increase in the coming years as a result of growing demand and increasing local generation. The yield generated locally is much more variable than that of traditional power plants. For the current power grid to be able to compensate for this, there are basically two options: Invest in increasing the capacity of the grid or look for alternatives to reduce peaks in supply and demand. Interflex is an innovation project in which grid operator Enexis and project partners TNO and ElaadNL participate. In this project, they test alternatives in real-life situations in order to arrive at sustainable solutions for making and keeping energy available and affordable.
InterFlex is part of Horizon 2020, the EU’s three-year research and innovation programme in which 20 European project partners explore new forms of flexibility in the energy market with the aim of optimising electrical energy systems at the local level. Interflex’ goal is to develop the next generation of smart grids and thus speed up the energy transition.
Steering consumption via a local marketplace
In order to reduce the daily peaks in energy demand, Interflex is testing a local marketplace where grid operator Enexis can negotiate with service providers who can steer energy consumption (such as the provider of an app for low-cost charging of electric cars). Through the marketplace, Enexis will subsidise service providers’ initiatives for shifting their customers’ energy consumption (flexibility), e.g. if providers get their customers to charge their cars at night instead of in the daytime. This will enable Enexis to reduce the load on the electricity grid during peak hours and it will remove the need to upgrade the network to a higher capacity.
Test of variable capacity for a central battery
Interflex is also experimenting with a new type of variable-capacity connection through which it can connect the central battery to the power grid. When the load on the grid is high, the capacity of the central battery will be temporarily lower, slowing down the charging of the battery and reducing its speed as a source of energy for other consumers. On the other hand, its capacity is much greater outside peak hours. At those times, the battery will actually work faster.