RΕ-EMPOWERED: Smart RUE of ICCS-NTUA coordinates H2020 project on Microgrids in EU and India

Following the successful coordination of the European research programs ‘Microgrids’ (2003-2005) and ‘More Microgrids’ (2006-2009) and more than 20 years of successful participation in European and National Research@Innovation projects, the Smart grids Research Unit (SmartRUE) of the Electrical and Computer Engineering School of the NTUA coordinates the Horizon 2020 European project ‘RE-EMPOWERED’. The project aims to develop and demonstrate novel tools and transfer best practices along with expertise developed in Europe and India in the field of microgrids. 14 partners from Europe and India have joined forces, and submitted a proposal that received a score of 15 out of 15 from both the European Commission and the Department of Science & Technology (DST) of India. It is one of the two projects among 53 submitted that was selected for funding.

The project tools include innovative solutions for energy planning, ranging from the design of Greenfield Microgrids to the upgrade of existing installations to increase RES penetration. The developed management tools will exploit synergies with other available energy carriers, including electricity, heating, cooling, water, waste, e-mobility, etc. taking into account availability, operational, security, and reserve constraints. The set of solutions will be implemented in 4 demo sites, two in Europe (Bornholm in Denmark and Kythnos in Greece) and two at remote locations in India (Ghoramara and Keonjhar), aiming at further developing and transferring advanced concepts and control solutions applicable to more Microgrids in the world. While the European installations exhibit impressive technological installations, the Indian sites pose a number of challenges. The inhabitants of Ghoramara island live under extreme poverty conditions with limited access to electricity. The Microgrid to be developed will provide electricity to 300 houses improving drastically their living standards and setting a prototype for the rest of the houses in the island. Moreover, the island suffers from frequent cyclones (monsouns) making the installation of resilient equipment very challenging. The installation in Keonjhar province aims to upgrade an existing Microgrid installation in order to serve as a sustainable socio-economic model for isolated local energy systems to be replicated in other remote villages in India.

RE-EMPOWERED held its ‘Kick off Meeting’ on 5th July 2021 with enthusiastic contributions from all partners. It was attended by the EC-CINEA project officer and the DST Additional Director who expressed their high expectations from this project. The successful collaboration of the EU and Indian partners is the key to success.

Related article (in the Greek language) published in energypress: