Edge Computing and Blockchain for energy optimization management in energy communities.

Barbara´s technology is being implemented for the management and exploitation of energy resources in Local Energy Communities at ELKARTEN Project. It will also secure data exchange of energy generation and consumption amongst their members.

Smart Grid
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Local Energy Communities (LECs) are born as citizens initiative that join forces to exchange energy amongst their members. This swap can occur either because there are common elements of energy generation and consumption such as photovoltaic installations, heat and cold generation systems, etc..... or because the members who have their own generation and storage systems share their surpluses with other community members.

Local Energy Communities are composed by various users with the capacity to generate, store and consume electricity. The joint management of resources within the community, means they can share these resources amongst community members and also provide services to other agents such as grid operators when thereis an energy surplus. This way energy acquisition costs are lower and additional income can be gained by providing energy to the grid.

Within the LECs framework, there is an increase in self-consumption, in the installation of renewable generation systems and a reduction of energy acquisition costs for its members.

Both, at the European level and national level, LECs are one of the key elements to fulfil the energy transition. It is based on the participation of all their members in energy generation and consumption while they help reduce  their dependence on companies outside their community.

Within this framework, the ELKARTEN project proposes to build this entire energy data exchange system through a hybrid architecture, which incorporates Edge Computing in order to respond to:

• Flexibility strategies in real time.

• Latency with respect to centralized platforms.

• Bandwidth caused by high volumes of streaming data traffic.

• Cybersecurity from the monitoring source.

It also seeks to incorporate blockchain technology at the Edge to track the energy generated and consumed  by Energy Communities. The proposed development is based on a  blockchain connector deployed at the Edge nodes that will act as an oracle for the accounting of the energy generated and consumed in a totally incorruptible space.

The joint management and operation of the community's energy resources will contribute to  reduce energy purchase costs and maximize revenues from the sale of energy surplus production. It will also allow to participate in flexibility markets, such as balancing markets (secondary and tertiary regulation), as well as in congestion markets such as REE's technical restrictions market or future congestion markets operated by electricity distributors.

The design of the Edge solution, also incorporates Artificial Intelligence models to:

• Predict renewable generation sources.

• Estimate aggregated demand by technology.

• Predict controls for real-time operation of managed resources.

• Multi-objective optimization of self-consumption, energy balances and flexibility provision.

The ELKARTEN project is led by Giroa-Veolia, specialized in energy management, together with TECUNI (integrated in Vinci Energies) will be in charge of  energy optimization tools that will enable the optimal operation of the community's energy resources.

Likewise, Barbara´s contribution is to develop the connector that will incorporate Blockchain functionality in the Edge node for a reliable and secure accounting of both, energy generation and consumption. While Eurohelp will be responsible for the development of a planning tool to perform the sizing and planning studies when designing LECs.

Finally, the companies focused on the final use of energy, Sedical for the design and control of the flexible heat pump and Muguerza for the design and control of the PV + battery hybrid system, will provide the equipment to be installed in LECs given their capacity to provide flexible services.

In addition, TECNALIA as RVCTI center will contribute to the research of the different developments of the project being subcontracted to perform part of the work by the participating companies. In this way, the project contemplates all the different roles of the value chain around LECs.

Barbara, The Cybersecure Industrial Edge Platform

Barbara's Industrial Edge Platform is designed to deploy Artificial Intelligence at the Edge in a cybersecure manner. It enables the execution of Artificial Intelligence in the field, so that stakeholders can abstract from connectivity and communication frameworks, cybersecurity and IT infrastructure and focus on executing and managing their algorithms.

Barbara's Edge platform provides the infrastructure that enables:

• Cybersecure artificial intelligence at the Edge.

• Remote deployment and management of cybersecure edge nodes and their algorithms.

• Intellectual property protection of artificial intelligence deployed at the edge.

• The coexistence of multi-author algorithms at the edge.

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Hazitek is an R&D&I program run by SPRI, directed to promote Research and Development Projects, both in SMEs and in large companies and associations of Basque companies.

The ELKARTEN project is framed within the RIS3 strategy, in the strategic priority of "cleaner energies". Optimal energy management in the framework of energy communities will contribute to environmental sustainability and the transition towards a low carbon Basque economy.

At the European level, the Energy Communities play an important role in the framework of the Clean Energy Package that defines European energy policy.