Our project Platone – PLATform for Operation of distribution NEtworks – was a four-year Horizon 2020 funded European project. Platone aimed at defining new approaches to increase the observability of renewable energy resources and of the less predictable loads while exploiting their flexibility. Our consortium of 12 partners from Belgium, Germany, Greece and Italy developed advanced management platforms to unlock grid flexibility and to realize an open and non-discriminatory market, linking users, aggregators and operators. The solutions developed in the project were tested in three European demonstration examples.

Smart integration for market innovation

To manage energy transition, distribution system operators (DSO) require innovative tools. Volatile renewable energy sources in combination with less predictable consumption patterns call for higher levels of observability and exploitation of flexibility. While these two challenges are traditionally treated with separate means, Platone proposed an innovative approach to a joint data management for both. Fully respecting the existing regulatory framework, a layered set of platforms allowed the needs of system operators, aggregators and end users to be met. A blockchain based platform, acting as the access layer to generators' and customers' flexibilities broke traditional access barriers by providing certified measures to all the players.

In conjunction, certified data and signals were used for an innovative DSO platform to locally maintain system integrity, fostering confidence in flexibility operations. An upper layer implemented a new concept of blockchain-based open market platform to link the local system to the transmission system operators' (TSO) domains and enhance the overall system cost and efficiency.

Innovation for the customers, innovation for the grid

Because flexibility means customer involvement, Platone put the grid users at the centre, investigated their needs and expectations, and used the underlying blockchain to unlock the potentials of higher dynamics of response. The platforms were tested in three large pilots in Europe and analysed in cooperation with a large research initiative in Canada.

Thanks to strategic partnerships and a unique consortium structure with an excellent network, Platone was well prepared for the dissemination and exploitation of the results with focus on DSO experts and final users.