InnoEnergy task force aims to revolutionise the energy sector!

Eric Jensen_res1

Eric Jensen

A dynamic InnoEnergy team has been developing a new actor in the energy value chain, a Local System Operator (LSO) – which designs and operates local energy systems. LSO aims to transform buildings into actual sustainable energy resources, enabling a customer-centric and smarter grid.

This task force is currently working hard on the Control and Optimisation of Distributed Energy Storage (CODES) project, which addresses the extremely hot topic of energy storage and its values for the energy system.  We spoke with the very busy CODES project leader, Eric Jensen, to see how things are going.

Project Brief

Eric explains, “Distributed batteries can provide several values to both the end-users and the energy system as a whole. In CODES, a project also supported by the Swedish Energy Agency, we will explore how the financial and environmental values can be combined and maximised. This will be done by designing and developing an Aggregated Battery Management System (A-BMS) to manage the control of distributed energy storages.”

CODeS project_ABMS

Since energy storage will play a major role – both in transportation (electric vehicles) and in the end-user’s home, InnoEnergy wants to enable the end-users to not only utilise their batteries in their own buildings; but to also provide flexibility to grid operators (TSO & DSO) and retailers. The end-user gets a faster return on investment, while facilitating a previously untapped resource for the entire energy system. Win-win! And this is where the CODES project comes in – implementing a cloud-based management system and then testing if the grid can be balanced through the aggregated flexibility from end-user’s energy storages in apartment buildings. Also with an eye on how to create the biggest financial returns for all players, of course!

Test run – Örebro, Sweden

The system will face its first real-life test run in apartment buildings in the scenic city of Örebro, with the cooperation of ÖrebroBostäder (ÖBO) – one of the largest municipality-owned real-estate companies in Sweden.  Eric describes them as a “great strategic partner, giving us access to important resources to basically create a template for a Smart City”. Over the last 10 years, the forward-thinking ÖBO has developed a successful platform for energy automation (based on open standard technology) already achieving around 45% energy savings!

The LSO team’s task is to take this to the next level – by launching the fully modular and scalable technology platform to the market and integrating new solutions and initiatives supported by InnoEnergy, one of them being CODES. Jonas Tannerstad, ÖBO Electricity & Automation Manager was quoted in a recent press release, “InnoEnergy’s unique insight into the energy market, large industry network and portfolio of innovative sustainable energy solutions make them the perfect partner for enhancing our technology. This partnership will support us in further contributing to a sustainable energy future.”

The ultimate goal is a solution that can be replicated in other buildings across Europe and the rest of the world – a huge step in the right direction for energy efficiency and large-scale sustainability! So what’s next? Smart local markets – where you can share energy production among prosumers by creating a peer-to-peer Energy & Power marketplace.

The dream team

LSO is to a large extent run by a dynamic team of young graduates with energy and IT backgrounds. The initiators of LSO are Fredrik Billing (Project Manager, former start-up Business Coach), Dr. Arshad Saleem (Technology Expert Smart Grid & Energy Storage), Amira El-Bidawi (now in Vattenfall) and Albin Engholm (Commercialisation Manager, former Uppsala University student) and then Eric himself. “I’m a Swedish-Nicaraguan engineer and got involved in LSO with my master thesis back in 2015”.

LSO team_Feb17_res2

Front row: Somshree Mukherjee, Maksym Kunytsia, Dapeng Lan, Nicole, Shamil Mehdijev. Back row: Albin Engholm, Arshad Saleem, Lukas Keller, Eric Jensen, Engin Kiliç, Vladyslav Milshyn. Missing: Fredrik Billing, Gustaf Svantesson

The LSO team has now grown rapidly to around 10 full-time employees. The latest top graduate talents recruited are Dapeng Lan (ICT Innovation, EIT digital), Gustaf Svantesson (Engineering Physics, Uppsala University), Maksym Kunytsia (Sustainable Technology, KTH) and Vladyslav Milshyn (ENTECH, InnoEnergy Master’s School).  “We additionally have several master thesis and internship students onboard. It’s a multicultural and dynamic atmosphere with all these various backgrounds and competences. There’s never a shortage of visionary ideas!”

InnoEnergy in the mix

Eric shares his thoughts on InnoEnergy and why he is excited to be working with them: “InnoEnergy has a strong profile in technology development, business model implementation and thought leadership within the area of sustainable energy. This has been successfully demonstrated again and again through its technology start-ups and innovation projects. Just one example, InnoEnergy is supporting an initiative to build one of the largest battery factories in the world.  It’s inspiring. InnoEnergy is truly in the forefront of this ongoing paradigm shift.”

Final thoughts

The day’s workload is waiting, but Eric has time for a few parting words; “It’s the best time to be in the energy sector. The paradigm shift has just started. One of my favourite quotes is from Erik Brandsma, the Director General of the Swedish Energy Agency: “The energy sector will change more in the coming 5 years than it has in the last 50 years.” (Fyra framtider, 2016). And I’m looking forward to being a part of that change!”

Pilot projects such as this one is a great reminder – about how we can all be involved in changing the energy system game: one innovative idea, one visionary project and one driven team at a time. As Eric says, “right here… right now is the perfect time to be in energy world”.