Increasing RES uptake through Microgrids in the Alps

Several pilot configurations will help develop ALPGRIDS outputs, among which the Alpine Microgrid Model. The Model will provide guidance and concrete tools for target groups in order to facilitate the development and implementation of new projects addressing local territorial goals. The model will address topics such as governance, regulation, financing, available technical solutions and market players.

City of Savona (Italy)

The pilot project, managed by IRE and supported by UNIGE, focuses on the development of a feasibility study of a microgrid in a neighborhood of the city of Savona in the north-western part of Italy.

The idea is to expand the microgrid architecture already existing inside the nearby Savona University Campus (University of Genoa) to a city district with the third aim of testing the application of sustainable power systems in the framework of a local energy community, decreasing the energy bills of users and improving the local resilience against blackout. Today, the area includes a public football field, a small public park and a swimming pool, but this project also incorporates the realisation of 3 buildings to host private companies and social housing.

The planned microgrid will consider different energy vectors:

  • electricity, locally produced by PV plants;
  • thermal energy, supplied by traditional heat pumps, geothermal heat pumps, solar collectors and electric boilers;
  • cooling energy, produced by traditional heat pumps and geothermal heat pumps.


Moreover, electric storage batteries and thermal storage systems are also considered in order to maximise the use of renewable energy. Two different control levels will be applied:

  • at higher level, the Energy Management System (EMS) of the microgrid will optimally operate and control the microgrid through a centralised approach;
  • at lower level, Building Energy Management Systems (BEMSs) will operate optimally and control each building. There will be a bidirectional communication between EMS and each BEMS.


WEIZ Campus and Municipality of Thannhausen (Austria)

The focus of WEIZ pilots is the exchange of electricity within a neighborhood of different consumers.

For the first pilot, the WEIZ Campus, it is the goal to implement an intelligent Energy Management System for the direct connection between WEIZ I and WEIZ II as well as to implement an energy storage with a capacity of about 200 kWh. The W.E.I.Z. II electricity is generated by the installed PV system and is primarily used for general electricity in the W.E.I.Z. II. The excess electricity is either used to charge the battery storage in the building or, as soon as it is fully charged, transferred via a direct electricity connection to the neighboring building W.E.I.Z. I. The second pilot is the direct connection between the PV plant of the Municipality of Thannhausen with their neighborhood.

The project results will be (1) a functional demonstrator for a shared use of PV generation via point-to-point connections, (2) simulation models for dimensioning the system’s components, (3) a validated measurement and control system, (4) business models and clearing system considering the needs of users and providers as well as insight on the economic feasibility of the approach, (5) insights on the reproducibility of the approach and finally (6) a technology-service-tender for shared use of local PV-generation via point-to-point connections.

Val de Quint valley (France)

The “Val de Quint” valley is a rural area of about 760 inhabitants. Mostly a residential area, it is also concerned by agricultural and touristic activities and a few very small enterprises. Saint-Julien-en-Quint, one of the 6 villages located in the Val de Quint valley, is already involved in microgrid activities, with shared PV selfconsumption. This village will form a first pilot site considering realised data and existing energy facilities. As the local stakeholders aim at extending the microgrids activities to the entire Val de Quint area, this will form an extended pilot site relying on simulated data, allowing us to consider various microgrid configurations, including energy storage options and cogeneration of heat and electricity. On both sites, the studies will mainly focus on economic issues related to the energy consumption flexibility provided by the microgrids.