Eversource Energy

SunHydrO, a combined renewable energy and storage R&D project has seen the installation of its energy management system complete.Designed by QOS Energy, the energy management system capitalises on "additional capabilities with regards to energy storage. Our cloud-based O&M analytics platform can cope with the complex requirements brought by the combination of storage units with renewable energy plants," says Jean-Yves Bellet, VP-CTO of QOS Energy.

He continues: "Markets are still at the beginning of the storage revolution. We believe ... that open and flexible data management systems and storage technology will be a requisite to facilitate the large-scale integration of renewable energy into the grid."

The SunHydrO project, a collaboration between 12 parties, aims to foster the grid integration of variable renewable energy sources with the added flexibility offered by pumped hydro storage units.

Real-time collaboration

The energy management system offers the real-time aggregation of data generated from the plants, weather data, market prices and the energy storage units’ behaviour into one single data hub.  Additionally, short-term production and prices forecast models have been developed.

A flexible pumped hydro storage unit has been dimensioned to meet the needs of a local loop with lots of variable decentralised generation. Optimisation algorithms were created to improve energy supply to the grid. Finally, recommendations for changes to the regulatory framework were made, and innovative business models for renewable energy production coupled with storage were elaborated.

The increased penetration of renewable energy in the electricity network impacts grid balancing capabilities and requires the introduction of additional flexibility to the energy system. Renewable energy, variable by nature, must also mitigate its exposition to electricity market prices and their associated risks. The efficient management of this variability can only be achieved by the use of flexible production assets, the control of electricity demand, and the development of networks and storage.

The SunHydrO project can integrate distributed renewable energy into the grid by coupling it to a pumped hydro storage in a virtual power plant, increasing both the flexibility and the value of the energy system on the electricity markets.

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