The EcoGrid EU project has been prioritised for funding from the EU FP7 ENERGY research programme for the purpose of completing a full-scale demonstration project on the prototype of tomorrow's intelligent power system. The project, which will be implemented from January 2011 to December 2014, has a total budget of EUR 25m, of which the EU will provide around half.
The EcoGrid EU project deals with demand response and controlling a complete power system with all its small-scale electricity-generating units. The test is based on Bornholm having a renewable energy penetration of more than 50%, with special emphasis being placed on wind power, biomass and solar power. The customers' electricity consumption will be regulated in hours and minutes by means of market prices, thus making it possible to utilise cheap electricity. A power system with such a high degree of flexibility has never been established before, and the EcoGrid EU project will therefore provide completely new world-class knowledge.
The mayor of Bornholm Regional Municipality, Ms Winni Grosbøll, bid welcome to the many foreign workshop participants. In her address, she emphasised that Bornholm is ready for the project, and that dedication and interest in new smart, green solutions are present to an extent never seen before. Bornholm wants to be Europe's technical laboratory and test tomorrow's power system in the hope of creating new workplaces in the island. Ms Grosbøll rounded off by saying that she personally is very interested in the possibility of linking intelligent power systems to the increased use of electric vehicles.
Mr Knud Andersen, chairman of Østkraft's supervisory board, was proud that a local supply company like Østkraft could once again host a highly innovative development project. Ever since the wind power industry was at a pioneering stage, Østkraft has always been ready to lend a hand in the work to develop the power system. In addition to the EcoGrid EU project, there are already a long line of ongoing projects which will all in their own way be linked to EcoGrid solutions to create a power system capable of living up to future requirements.
Energinet.dk has taken the initiative to set up the project, and the Nordic re-search organisation Sintef has been hired to handle project coordination. Mr Kim Behnke, Head of Research and Development at Energinet.dk, emphasised in his address that the reason why Energinet.dk in its capacity as TSO is so interested in testing the Smart Grid options is the massive integration into the power system of wind power and other renewable energy sources that will be required in future. We need to turn all the existing resources in local grids into active players. Mr Behnke was pleased that the results from Bornholm can be used in the rest of Denmark as well and that the Belgian project partners, Elia, Ores and Eandis, will in parallel with the EcoGrid EU project implement the project results in the Belgian power system in order to bring it to the forefront of Smart Grid development technology.
The EcoGrid EU project will negotiate the final budgets and work packages until October, after which they will be signed by the European Commission. Expected project start is 10 January 2011.