Intelligent Industrial Renewable Energy Community – “2I-REC”
Company/Organisation: Maps Group
Maps , a company founded in 2002, became an Innovative SME operating in the digital transformation sector, located in Parma, Italy and now heads a group, Maps Group (https://mapsgroup.eu), comprising the following companies: Artexe, Energenius, I-Tel, Iasi, SCS Computers. Its 200+ employees produce and distribute software for analysis and management of big data. Maps Group has a portfolio of over four hundred highly loyal Customers from different markets (Utilities, Telco, Healthcare…). The Company has developed ROSE, a SaaS solution to manage smart grids, Energy Communities, predictive maintenance of medium/low voltage electric grids and renewable energy production systems.
In 2022 Maps Group has acquired the innovative SME Energenius (en.energenius.it), an innovative start-up focused on energy efficiency. 2022 consolidated revenues were 24.7 M€ with EBITDA of 5.9 M€.
Nowadays Maps Group solutions portfolio is mainly centered on Renewable Energy Communities (community design and assets management, energy efficiency, etc.), Flexibility services like prosumers aggregation for the delivery of balancing services to the Distribution Service Operator, Energy Monitoring and Optimization in the usage of cogenerators.
2I-REC “Intelligent Industrial Renewable Energy Communities”, proposed by MAPS Group, is one of the projects selected by BD4NRG’s open call, in the context of Topic 2 – Optimisation of grid and distributed assets. The aim of the project is to build, within the BD4NRG platform, a tool to optimize the economic performances of Renewable Energy Communities that include industrial sites, with their energy efficiency needs, as participants.
2I-REC will develop artificial intelligence and operational-research based software algorithms for the optimization of aggregates of energy producers and consumers with multiple, and possibly competing, goals. 2I-REC will focus on the scenario of RECs whose participants list includes, but is not limited to, industrial sites with power generation sources of both renewable and non-renewable type. Energy efficiency needs of such sites are then considered along with energy sharing and/or flexibility goals or commitments of the whole REC.
Sector 2I-REC envision to cover
2I-REC aims at enabling the efficient participation of industrial sites in renewable energy communities (REC). This is a new need that is stemming out from the evolution of the Italian legislation for RECs with a foreseen increase in the size (in terms of the maximum allowed number of Mw’s of installed renewable production capacity) of the communities.
Industrial sites with large areas for the deployment of photovoltaic systems (PVs), but also equipped with owned power generation sources, such as cogeneration turbines, and storages will be allowed to take part in RECs. From their point of view, the installation of PVs must serve both their energy needs, in combination with the other available sources of powers, as well as contribute to the RECs energy sharing objectives.
With this project we aim at complementing Maps Group’ solution ROSE Energy Community with the necessary algorithms for optimal planning of resources in this scenario. Specifically, we shall build additional algorithms for a combined optimization of energy efficiency at site level with energy sharing at the aggregate level, also considering flexibility programs (e.g., Demand Response).
We plan to distribute 2I-REC as a plug-in of ROSE, with a SaaS solution. This will boost the outreach of the market by Maps Group and will position us as front runner as software services providers to RECs with industrial participants. Our potential customers are ESCOs, Energy Managers, Utilities and Public Administrations that (individually or in group) promote the creation of RECs. Considering only Italian market, we expect the creation of 5-10k new collective self-consumers and 20k RECs (2021-2025). Such an impressive growth in RECs will surely require more intelligent management and optimization solution – and this is exactly the purpose of 2I-REC.
MAPS is actively innovating in the Energy Management field with a software-centred approach driven by data management and exploitation. In particular, we are developing the intelligent software infrastructures needed to optimally address the arising energy management issues that are increasingly relying on the ability to deploy optimally aggregates of small- and medium-scale consumers, producers and prosumers.
We foresee the arising of numerous use cases in the coming future, all relying on the ability of considering the entire set of available assets and points-of-delivery, but each one with its own specific skewing towards its goal, such as maximization of self-consumption, fulfilment of demand/response requirements, minimization of total energy bill and so on.
With 2I-REC, we are planning to extend our intelligent-software infrastructure to enable the maximization of the benefits that complex aggregates, such as industrial sites participated RECs, might achieve, both at individual and collective level, in an evolving business scenario. 2I-REC brings to the market a solution, currently missing, for the optimal management of RECs aligned with the current regulations, combining efficient energy management of an industrial site with energy sharing, in a multi-energy vector scenario. Additional complexity arises from the fact that only renewable energy can be shared in a REC, hence the optimal management system must have the unique ability of distinguishing between energy produced from renewable sources and energy produced by non-renewable sources and use this information accordingly in its reasoning.
MAPS can already rely on different software solutions tailored for specific and vertical use-cases, notably ROSE Energy Community, and ROSE Energenius Efficiency. With 2I-REC, we shall combine these capabilities and add to them the necessary intelligence to address the need of finding optimal trade-offs among possibly competing target objectives that participants in aggregates might individually have.
With 2I-REC, we aim to develop, as a plug-in module of ROSE, an optimization algorithm to minimize the energy costs of an industrial site, with a view to energy efficiency, and simultaneously maximize the benefits generated by the energy community, both for the industrial site and for other consumers or prosumers.
As input, the energy optimal planner takes the community composition (industrial energy resources, consumers, prosumers, and their storage), the needs of the industry; consumption/production forecast; historical data of consumption, production, storage usage; and the electrical energy and gas prices forecasts.
As output, the planner produces a "schedule", consisting of a series of setpoints for all the controllable resources of the industrial site and of the community, such as cogeneration turbines and electrical storages. These setpoints are designed to be sent directly to the devices as commands, realizing the expected profile of generated energy, injected energy (in the grid) and energy shared by the community (net of unforeseen deviations in actual consumption profiles or renewable energy production).
As an optimization strategy, the planner operates by maximizing the economic values derived from the injected and shared energy by the community throughout the considered time interval while simultaneously minimizing energy costs of the industrial site.
In its execution 2I-REC will crucially benefit from the collaboration with SUANFARMA Italia S.p.A., a pharmaceutical company, that will allow us to collect and use their energy data. SUANFARMA already runs cogeneration turbines, is planning to enhance its energy production capabilities with photovoltaic systems, and to foster sustainability by taking part in local energy community projects.
Using the capabilities of ROSE, we will be able to aggregate SUANFARMA’s data in a virtual energy community whose daily operations will be simulated by recurring to statistical data regarding households' consumptions, photovoltaic efficiency in the SUANFARMA’s geographical area, and energy storage efficiency.
The outcome of 2I-REC will be deployed as a BD4NRG service that exposes its planning module as the main endpoint. The planning strategies implemented by 2I-REC could then be used for pilot experimenting, and validation by possibly interested BD4NRG partners.