Microgrids precisely propose to address these objectives on low-voltage networks by controlling and optimizing the operation of local systems, composed of loads, energy sources and eventual storages.
Microgrids are generally defined inside a delimited perimeter; they can be connected to the main grid or offer solutions to operate “off-grid”. Different types of microgrids start to be distinguished according to the different issues they try to face, but also according to the market segment they concern: industrial microgrids, campus microgrids, island or isolated microgrids, military microgrids, village community microgrids.
Microgrids interact with many stakeholders. They have to offer them optimal solutions from the energy management point of view but they also have to take into account economical aspects and give orientations to economic decisions such as buying or selling electricity on the wholesale market. Sometimes the political dimension and the need to assure the security of supply also become the main driver.
In the PEGASUS project, 10 partners from MED countries are working together to study into more details microgrids, focusing on rural and island areas. The objective is to implement a set of tools and measures that aim at facilitating the development of microgrids. PEGASUS partners are coming from various structures: municipalities, energy agencies, universities, private companies. Seven partners have to work out specific simulations on pilot sites, so that the results of PEGASUS will rely on ground – based data. The project also includes an important module on the transfer of the results and plans to associate closely local and regional authorities so that they can use the proposed measures to introduce dedicated support to microgrids in their respective policies.
Since the beginning of the project, one year ago, most of the work has been focused on the selection of pilot sites, the installation of measurement devices and the launching of first simulations. The seven pilot sites are very different and can be spread into the following categories: village community microgrid (2), building-scale microgrid (3), university microgrid (1), medium-voltage microgrid (1). Greek and French microgrids are both focusing on a village community, and base their simulation of the microgrid on numerous data, mainly monitored from residential households.
For all these pilot sites, the monitoring started at the end of 2017 / beginning of 2018 and will last one year. The economic and technical feasibility studies will integrate these real data to develop a microgrid model and identify the conditions of reproducibility.
Several questions are still open:
Pegasus aims at providing some first answers to these questions.