FlAixEnergy: The digital regional electricity market

Renewable energy expansion poses a challenge to the distribution and transmission grids. They need to respond to natural fluctuations in a flexible way and still guarantee security of supply, even when the sun is not shining or the wind blowing. The electricity often has to be transported over long distances as well – a process which leads to around six per cent of the energy being lost. As part of the project FlAixEnergy, scientists from Flexible Elektrische Netze GmbH, in collaboration with industrial and research partners, have developed a cloud-based platform that allows power to be consumed where it is produced. The project is being piloted in the model region Aachen.

In an initial stage, the project participants investigate the existing flexibility of industrial users in the region of Aachen and combine these into a flexibility cluster via a cloud-based platform. The FlAixEnergy platform synchronises regional energy demand with decentralised energy production plants that are linked together in a virtual power plant.

Engine for progress:

  • Reduction of line losses by using the regional electricity market
  • Reduction of electricity procurement costs by participating in the electricity market
  • Development of a new group of participants for the electricity market
  • Reduction of grid expansion demand by optimising the use of regional electricity
  • Increase in the potential integration of energy from renewable sources into the power grid

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Photo: DFA Demonstrationsfabrik Aachen GmbH

Industrial users can participate in the electricity market in a simple way. Companies have the opportunity to reduce their electricity costs by providing flexibility potential.

FlAixEnergy achieves this synchronisation by aggregating the energy flexibility of industrial users via the platform and making use of it as required. If there is too much power in the network, for example, members of the flexibility cluster can take in the excess power and thus contribute to network stability. Plant productivity is increased by using the power produced regionally, whereas in the past plants had to be switched off.

Simple participation in the electricity market

FlAixEnergy allows the participating companies to take part in the electricity market in a simple way. Training as a power exchange broker is not necessary for this. The platform’s algorithm combines all the various information and sends easily comprehensible “power schedules” to the companies so that they can decide independently what flexibility they can provide. At the same time, the companies have the opportunity to reduce their electricity costs by providing flexibility potential. The pressure on the distribution and transmission grids is relieved by synchronising energy production and the demand for electricity and by making use of companies’ energy flexibility. The amount of grid expansion necessary can also be minimised by increasingly using power that is produced regionally. FlAixEnergy is thus helping to reduce transmission losses and CO2 emissions.

Foto: Fotostudio Projektelf

"Our vision is to provide sustainable, secure and affordable energy in the future. The regional platform for energy flexibility in (manufacturing) companies provides an ideal solution to overcome the challenges presented by the increasing volatility of Germany’s supply network."

Dr.-Ing. Christian Haag, Managing Director of Flexible Elektrische Netze FEN GmbH

Partners and sponsors

  • Flexible Elektrische Netze FEN GmbH
  • Forschungsinstitut für Rationalisierung (FIR) e. V. an der RWTH Aachen
  • PSI Energy Markets GmbH
  • QSC AG
  • StreetScooter GmbH
  • DIN Deutsches Institut für Normung e.V.
  • PSI Metals GmbH
  • DFA Demonstrationsfabrik Aachen GmbH
  • PSI Automotive & Industry GmbH
  • Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi)