Celebrating Progress: OPENTUNITY Project's 1st Review Meeting in Lugano

Celebrating Progress: OPENTUNITY Project's 1st Review Meeting in Lugano


Last week, the OPENTUNITY project consortium gathered in Lugano, Switzerland, for a significant milestone: their 1st Review Meeting with the European Commission. Hosted by the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland and Azienda Elettrica di Massagno (AEM) SA, the meeting was an opportunity to showcase their progress over the past 16 months.

The consortium was delighted to present the strides made in their innovations across the four pilot sites. During the meeting, consortium members and European Commission representatives visited the advanced energy community in the Motta District. This visit highlighted several key innovations, including the V2G charging station linked to the local car-sharing service, which demonstrated their advancements in vehicle-to-grid technology. Additionally, the biomass-powered district heating system showcased sustainable heating solutions within the community, while the high voltage substation, connecting to the 15 kV network, ensured efficient energy distribution. Various photovoltaic (PV) systems within the energy communities underscored their commitment to renewable energy.

This review meeting was crucial not only for presenting their achievements but also for receiving valuable feedback from the European Commission. This input will be instrumental in guiding their efforts to implement improvements and achieve the excellence they strive for in the OPENTUNITY project.

OPENTUNITY Plenary Meeting Sparks Innovation in Energy Solutions in Granollers

OPENTUNITY Plenary Meeting Sparks Innovation in Energy Solutions in Granollers


On February 6th and 7th, the OPENTUNITY consortium convened for its Plenary Meeting at Anell premises in Granollers, Spain, a pivotal hub within our pilot site network.

The meeting buzzed with energy and enthusiasm as discussions delved into the core pillars of our project: OPENFLEX, OPENGRID, and OPENABILITY. These initiatives signify our dedication to fostering flexibility in the prosumer’s environment, enhancing grid management technologies for DSOs/TSOs, and streamlining procedures to boost interoperability. Furthermore, partners addressed the different use cases in our pilot sites across Spain, Greece, Slovenia, and Switzerland.

Crucially, these deliberations marked pivotal steps towards our forthcoming report to the EU Commission. This report, a culmination of 16 months of dedicated work, represents a significant milestone in our journey towards shaping the future of energy systems in Europe.

Beyond the boardroom, the consortium had the privilege of immersing ourselves in Anell’s facilities—a testament to the evolution from a textile company to a dynamic DSO. This firsthand experience provided invaluable insights into the practical applications of our work, grounding our discussions in real-world contexts.

Working to reach final users

Working to reach final users


How will OPENTUNITY solutions reach users and become viable business models?

In OPENTUNITY, we are not just building a network of innovations to open up the electricity ecosystem to various stakeholders, but also to provide a genuine opportunity for real decarbonization. Our specific goal at OPENTUNITY is to ensure that our innovations reach the intended actors and effectively enter the market.

By providing social science and economic expertise, the JOANNEUM RESEARCH LIFE team has a special role in OPENTUNITY. They ensure that the solutions developed in OPENTUNITY find their way to users and become part of viable business models. Currently, they are developing an integrated research strategy that enables collecting close user feedback for the technological features to be tested at the demo sites in Greece, Slovenia, Spain, and Switzerland.

The feedback tool will provide a low-threshold opportunity for users to provide feedback on their experience and enable them to submit concrete ideas for improvement.

In parallel, preliminary business models and value chains for each OPENTUNITY demo site have been created. They will be further detailed and quantified as the project moves along. Stay tuned!

Here our partners from JOANNEUM RESEARCH LIFE: Stephan Schwarzinger, Michael Brenner-Fließer and Camilla Neumann.

ENLIT, networking and Christmas wishes

ENLIT, networking and Christmas wishes


This week, OPENTUNITY made its debut in the dynamic world of “ENLIT” at the EU Project Zone of ENLIT 2023, featuring a stand and active participation in a hub session centered around “Grid Technologies.”

With the festive season around the corner, this event served as a delightful pre-Christmas gathering for numerous EU-funded projects. It was an ideal meeting point for projects involved in Smart Grid and Digitalization as part of the BRIDGE initiative. The venue provided a unique opportunity to connect with other projects, foster collaborations, and highlight the benefits and potential impact of the project to other visitors on energy sector driving the energy transition.

OPENTUNITY proudly hosted a booth alongside other EU projects and engaged in the “Grid Technologies” session, which focused on the grid infrastructure and technologies crucial for facilitating the energy transition. During this session, our project coordinator elucidated that OPENTUNITY is actively developing digital solutions for the grid to support the energy transition. This includes the creation of software platforms designed to assist small Distribution System Operators (DSOs) lacking proper topology data and state estimation, thereby enhancing their functionalities.

The session featured lively discussions involving various projects such as Smart5Grid, TRANSLATE, VPP4ISLANDS, LIFE SF6-FREE HV BREAKER, LIFE SF6-FREE GIS, and SECO2ND LIFE GIS. Beyond these interactions, the session provided an opportunity to express a Christmas wish to the European Commission concerning Energy Policy.

At OPENTUNITY, our focus is on Artificial Intelligence, where data plays a pivotal role. Smart meters stand out as a primary source of this essential data. Therefore, OPENTUNITY’s Christmas wish revolves around the continuous and accelerated rollout of smart meters throughout Europe. While some countries, like Spain, have successfully completed this rollout, many other EU countries have only just begun. This lag in progress means that we are currently missing out on valuable data necessary for advancing innovative Grid Technologies in line with the goals of the energy transition.

Enhancing Line Rating for Efficient Electricity Market Operation

Enhancing Line Rating for Efficient Electricity Market Operation


The Line Rating stands as an important factor influencing the efficient operation of the electricity market. Static Line Rating methodologies typically yield conservative capacity estimations, often derived from worst-case weather conditions scenarios. Improving the accuracy of current rating estimations can significantly boost the utilization of distribution system lines, increase the hosting capacity of Renewable Energy Sources (RES), and mitigate the need for costly DSO (Distribution System Operator) upgrades.

Accurately gauging the technical limits of power lines entails measuring air and conductor temperatures, solar heat intensity, and wind speed/direction. Achieving high accuracy and reliability in these estimations typically necessitates the installation of an array of sensors along the line, consequently increasing the cost of such solutions.

In the context of OPENTUNITY, ICCS partner is taking on the task of developing a cost-effective, real-time thermal rating algorithm. ICCS plans to employ machine learning techniques to incorporate numerical weather forecasts and data obtained from sensors within the OPENTUNITY ecosystem, including those in proximity to distribution lines such as RES plants and home automation systems. This approach aims to provide accurate line current rating estimations without the need for multiple sensors spanning the entire line.

ICCS is deeply engaged in research within this field, amalgamating conventional practices related to real-time current ratings derived from industry standards such as CIGRE and IEEE, as well as state-of-the-art research methods. This fusion of established and innovative approaches to real-time current rating is a promising step towards enhancing the efficiency of electricity market operation.

ENLIT's Exclusive Interview with OPENTUNITY's Project Coordinator

ENLIT's Exclusive Interview with OPENTUNITY's Project Coordinator


During the European Sustainable Energy Week  2023, Alvaro Nofuentes, the project coordinator of OPENTUNITY, had the privilege of being interviewed by the Enlit team.

This insightful interview served as a platform for our project coordinator to not only introduce the OPENTUNITY project but also to delve into the pressing challenges within the renewable energy sector, highlighting the continuous demand for a skilled workforce and technological advancements. Despite these challenges, he conveyed an optimistic outlook regarding the progress being achieved in the field.

The conversation took an interesting turn towards the realm of digitalization, with Alvaro emphasizing the transformative effects of smart meter rollouts. These rollouts play a pivotal role in democratising energy data, making it accessible to consumers and providing invaluable insights for grid operators.

In discussions about the role of policy, he commended the European Commission’s BRIDGE Initiative for its role in fostering collaboration among various smart grid projects. He also underscored the Commission’s supportive role in shaping potential new regulations.

Our project coordinator’s insights serve as a powerful reminder of the significance of collaborative efforts in reaching sustainable energy objectives. The OPENTUNITY project serves as a clear demonstration of the steadfast dedication to overcoming obstacles and embracing digitalisation, ultimately playing a role in creating a greener and more efficient energy landscape.



Embarking on AI-Powered Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring (NILM) Algorithms

Embarking on AI-Powered Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring (NILM) Algorithms


ETRA‘s role in this project extends beyond mere coordination; it also involves the delivery of innovative technologies and solutions to empower grid operators. One significant stride in this journey is ETRA’s work in the development of Artificial Intelligence-based Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring (NILM) algorithms. This algorithm belongs to the OPENFLEX innovation.

These advanced algorithms harness data derived from overall household energy consumption, enabling the inference of active appliances and their respective energy usage at any given moment. What sets NILM apart is its ability to achieve disaggregated energy consumption insights without the need for submetering, offering cost-effective benefits to end-users.

ETRA has conducted extensive research in this field, meticulously assessing the State of the Art. The most promising avenue for its work is the development of semi-supervised algorithms, an area that remains relatively uncharted in the realm of AI. Within the OPENTUNITY project, ETRA is committed to expanding knowledge in this domain, ultimately delivering new technology to European households built on this innovative and promising approach.

OPENTUNITY Team Gathers in Ljubljana for Second Plenary Meeting

OPENTUNITY Team Gathers in Ljubljana for Second Plenary Meeting


From October 3rd to 4th, the OPENTUNITY team convened in Ljubljana for its highly second Plenary Meeting, hosted by the Laboratory of Energy Policy (UL).

During the meeting, partners engaged in comprehensive discussions regarding the latest advancements in their respective tasks. This collaborative gathering facilitated the exchange of invaluable insights and allowed the team to explore the Slovenian site.

From a technical standpoint, the meeting included presentations on the current status of relevant use cases, providing a detailed overview of ongoing research and development efforts. As a result of these discussions, the partners collectively agreed on a set of next steps, including initiating the transmission of data from pilot sites to technical partners as per their requests and finalising the architecture modeling.

In addition to the productive discussions, the visit to Elektro Ljubljana d.d. (DSO) offered the partners a unique opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the region’s dynamic energy landscape.

Meeting OPENTUNITY at ENLIT 2023

Meeting OPENTUNITY at ENLIT 2023


Are you planning to attend the Enlit Europe 2023 Conference? If so, don’t miss the opportunity to connect with the OPENTUNITY team at the EU Projects Zone of Enlit Europe Conference, scheduled for November 28-30 in Paris, as well as during the Hub sessions!

During the three-day event, visitors can visit OPENTUNITY at booth 7.2.H80-16. Moreover, OPENTUNITY’s project coordinator will be presenting the goals, benefits, and impact of the project as part of a special session highlighting the newly launched Horizon Europe projects within the BRIDGE initiative.

Enlit serves as a prestigious energy forum that brings industries together, ignites actionable insights, and contributes to the transformation of Europe’s energy landscape into a decarbonized and digitalized system for the energy transition. The forum covers a wide spectrum of topics in the energy agenda, ranging from decarbonizing industries and transportation to power generation and energy storage.

This gathering is set to take place at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles and anticipates the participation of 12,000 attendees, more than 700 international exhibitors, and over 500 speakers. The event will also feature an EU Projects Zone, where various Horizon Energy and LIFE CET projects managed by CINEA will be showcased.

OPENTUNITY Team Explores Greek Pilot Site

OPENTUNITY Team Explores Greek Pilot Site


Between 9-10 May, The OPENTUNITY consortium marked Europe Day in Athens with the 2nd Plenary Meeting of the project, providing an excellent opportunity for in-depth discussions and idea exchange regarding the project’s ongoing progress alongside the partners. The gathering served as a catalyst for continued collaboration, ensuring substantial headway in the project’s development.

A key highlight of this gathering was the visit to the ΔΕΔΔΗΕ Α.Ε. HEDNO S.A. facilities in Athens, which afforded the consortium a more comprehensive understanding of our pilot site in Greece.

Situated in Mesogia, in the southeastern part of Attica near Athens, the Greek pilot site is home to the Markopoulo Substation. This substation, situated at the confluence of the transmission and distribution systems, transforms voltage from the 150kV (part of TS) level to the 20kV level (part of DS). Its purpose is to supply power to 2812 residences and 123 commercial establishments.

The site boasts three 150kV/20kV transformers, each with a rated apparent power of 40/50MVA, adequately meeting the load requirements of the connected consumers. To support voltage, a capacitor bank with a capacity of 24MVar is deployed on the MV side. The pilot exhibits an impressive 27.043 MW of photovoltaic plants connected to the distribution network. HEDNO, as the DSO, IPTO as the TSO, and ICCS as the IT supporter are the principal partners involved in this endeavor.


What advantages will OPENTUNITY bring to this pilot?

Primarily, the project will enhance network observability by implementing OPENTUNITY’s topology identification and state estimation techniques in grid areas with limited monitoring equipment. This enhancement supports more intelligent grid management across the entire network.

The pilot will also introduce new planning methodologies, employing OPENTUNITY’s grid planning optimization to accommodate the integration of new distributed renewable energy sources (RES) and to facilitate the integration of electromobility and Combined Heat and Power (CHP) into the grid.

Additionally, the pilot will conduct local flexibility market testing with the assistance of Flexibility Market Operator NODES, responsible for operating the local market and managing interactions between the DSO and flexibility providers.

Lastly, TSO/DSO collaboration will be fortified through enhanced data sharing utilizing the OPENTUNITY blockchain. This ensures efficient and cyber-secure data exchange, ultimately promoting more harmonious grid management between medium-voltage (MV) and high-voltage (HV) lines.