Wide scale demonstration of Integrated Solutions and business models for European smartGRID
The WiseGRID project aims at promoting research and deployment of innovative smart grid applications in Europe.
This is a pioneering demonstration project of nine innovative applications to be tested, with the participation of more than 1,700 users, under real life conditions, in five pilot sites (grid operators and energy communities) in Italy, Spain, Belgium and Greece (two different pilot sites in Mesogia and Kythnos), which are under the jurisdiction of the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator (HEDNO).
The Aegean Energy and Environment Agency (AEEA) participates in the project deployment team, having the main role of offering technical support to the Municipality of Kythnos when designing and deploying innovative pilot applications on the island, in collaboration with the Municipality of Kythnos, the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) and the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator (HEDNO).
The island of Kythnos has been selected as one of the most suitable sites to study and demonstrate these solutions, as it fulfils a number of requirements such as: its small size, its proximity to Athens, which makes it easily accessible, the fact that it remains electrically non-interconnected to the mainland grid, thus facing RES penetration restrictions as a result, the use of which could significantly reduce the high cost of electricity generation, as well as the fact that the island is among the least touristically developed islands, which leaves room for new models of development to be tested on the basis of sustainability, durability and circular economy.
Moreover, Kythnos has a long history of sustainable energy applications, since the first wind farm in Europe was installed there in 1982. Next there was the testing and installation of a 100kW Photovoltaic Station with batteries, a hybrid station consisting of a 500kW wind turbine, batteries and an automatic control system and finally the development of one of the first micro-grids with a stand-alone photovoltaic system, batteries and a backup diesel generator.
Specifically for Kythnos it is planned to host a state-of-the-art integrated electricity system that includes:
- procurement of electrical vehicles and electrical vehicle charging stations;
- energy storage systems (batteries) for public/municipal buildings;
- equipment for optimising the operation of a desalination plant;
- automated electricity network management equipment, enhancing two-way communication with consumers.
These actions will greatly help to support the Municipality’s broader strategy to promote Kythnos’ goal of being a “Smart Island” hosting innovative applications in the entirety of infrastructures, a project that has been approved for funding and is expected to start in 2019. Apart from improving the living standards of both residents and visitors, these applications will also make Kythnos a destination for educational and scientific tourism.
Among other things, it is planned to hold seminars, workshops, conferences and visits of scientists, students and pupils thus extending the tourism season, creating jobs and enhancing the local development of the island.
The DAFNI Network, whose scientific advisor is AEEA, guarantees the transfer of know-how and knowledge produced under WISEGRID to member islands, thus maturing the conditions for the implementation of other important research projects in Greek island regions.
Since the first year of deployment, the project has been awarded three European distinctions!
At the annual Energy Infrastructure Forum held in Copenhagen, WiseGRID was selected as the most innovative project in the Technology & Design category, winning the Good Practice of the Year award.
In addition, as part of the EU Sustainable Energy Week, WiseGRID won the vote of the expert jury and was appointed Best Energy Project of Europe in the category of “Business”, and also received the Citizens Award which was awarded by popular vote of the European Citizens!