“The MAS2TERING project (FP7) kicks off at CEA in Paris on September 4th, 2014.”
On September 4th, the EU reached an important milestone along the roadmap to a low-carbon economy by 2050 on with the launch of the 7th Framework Programme MAS2TERING project.
MAS2TERING stands for “Multi-Agent Systems and Secured coupling of Telecom and Energy gRIds for Next Generation smart grid services,” and is a collaborative three-year technology driven and business focused study. It aims to facilitate the optimisation of European smart grids to include a better integration of intermittent and local energy technologies. The project will contribute to the realisation of a low carbon electricity grid that minimises greenhouse gas emissions and enhances the security, quality, and reliability of energy supply networks.
With 450 million energy consumers in the EU and demand rising 1-2% per year, there is a need to ultilise the data that is available to enable optimisation of demand management and promote better coordination and communication between electricity producers, distributors, and consumers. Managing data and metering energy are respectively becoming cheaper and more dynamic, opening doors to new local energy management systems and better interoperability.
MAS2TERING addresses the need for an innovative information and communication technology (ICT) platform for the monitoring of low voltage power distribution grids coordinating central and local energy management. Project activities will include the design, development and stress testing of an integrated multi-purpose flexible grid management ICT platform of interoperable, standards-compliant software components for smart grid security and communication interfacing.
The consortium includes prominent industrial organisations and research institutes from the European energy, telecom, ICT, and security fields, to leverage the critical dimensions of the project whilst ensuring the potential for market uptake and the stimulation of new services, best practices and business models. One course of action is to investigate the applicability of holonic (Multi-Agent Systems) software architecture for secured and optimal monitoring and management of the grid and enhanced resilience by integrating last advances in distributed control architecture, artificial intelligence, communications, and cyber security.
The project is timely as EU Member States have committed to the future deployment of 200 million smart meters for electricity and 45 million smart meters for gas by 2020 for a total potential investment of €45 billion. By 2020, it is expected that almost 72% of European consumers will have a smart meter for electricity while 40% will have one for gas. Local energy installations as solar panels and distributed batteries, and smart appliances within the home are becoming prevalent and an important part of the electrical grid.
MAS2TERING brings together a diverse group of experts for thought-leadership engagement workshops with the first being hosted by Telecom Italia on 17 October in Venice in collaboration with the Energy@Home alliance and the ZigBee Alliance. A stakeholder questionnaire and additional project info can be found at www.mas2tering.eu as well as a description of three industrial use cases where careful field-testing and software development related to low-voltage renewable energy production, distribution, storage, consumption control, and metering will be validated.
One primary motivation for the project is to foster new collaborative services and business concepts between utilities, telecoms and distribution system operators (DSOs) over the last mile connectivity to the home. Through data exchange, optimization and new services are possible and this EU-funded research and technological development project will help to identify and deploy such innovations.
After the project, the results and outcomes will be utilized within research and commercial activities of the consortium partners (CEA, Utility Partnership Limited, R2M Solution, GDF Suez, Cassidian CyberSecurity, Telecom Italia, Cardiff University, Waterford Institute of Technology and Laborelec; from five European countries: France, United Kingdom, Italy, Ireland, and Belgium).
Capturing the spirit and motivation of the project, the project coordinator Sylvain Robert of CEA Tech said:
“Success depends on how smart infrastructures, combining energy and telecom, are developed and implemented for the wider integration of security-aware distributed energy resources into the increasingly decentralized grid.”