Energy communities: excellent results in South Tyrol
The energy provider Alperia and Regalgrid Europe, a leading company in the digital energy sector, had created two years ago one of the first Italian Energy Communities, a reality in which energy produced locally from renewable sources is shared. Today, Eurac Research confirms: the efficiency of the Alperia and Regalgrid Energy Community exceeds expectations.
The concept of the Energy Community is simple: making the energy produced by renewable source plants – photovoltaic and wind – available locally so that more interconnected users can benefit from it. On the other hand, the underlying technology is more sophisticated, which allows the optimization of energy flows in order to save energy for the benefit of users and the environment. Optimizing and innovating energy distribution technologies is part of Alperia’s strategy, which sets itself the ambitious goal of making South Tyrol a model at national level and of creating concrete added value for citizens.
Two years ago, therefore, before today’s “Milleproroghe” law encouraged the Energy Communities, Alperia and Regalgrid had created one of the first Italian Energy Communities at the NOI Techpark in Bolzano. This first South Tyrolean “community” is made up of seven “consumers” and “prosumers” (users who not only consume energy, but also produce it) and connects the photovoltaic system on the roof of the building with the utilities inside it, which have been suitably equipped with inverters and energy storage systems (batteries). The innovative technology used, patented by Regalgrid, is based on special devices, which in addition to communicating the entire system by transmitting energy data, are also able to activate the energy production and storage systems. Through an algorithm developed by Regalgrid itself, the system analyzes the consumption profiles, “self-regulating” and optimizing the energy flows to make the most of the available energy. Thanks to a digital platform, users can also monitor and manage the energy produced and consumed in real time, both at the individual user and community level. The goal is to exploit self-produced energy within the Community as much as possible.
To investigate the potential of the system, Eurac Research has developed a modeling environment that reproduces the energy community of Alperia at the NOI Techpark, in which to simulate and test its operation on the basis of real production and energy consumption data. “The first results of the study show that self-consumption of energy within the Community of Alperia and Regalgrid is double that of self-consumption in a situation where energy is not shared”, explains David Moser, Head of the Group research of photovoltaic systems of Eurac. “An even more surprising result when compared with the current state of the art of the Energy Communities: energy sharing at the NOI Techpark records an energy self-consumption of 20% higher than the reference data for the sector reported in the literature”.
“These results are very encouraging for us,” says Johann Wohlfarter CEO of the green provider Alperia. “We focus on cutting-edge technologies with the aim of offering our customers the best possible service and at the same time making the most of energy resources for greater environmental sustainability. This project reflects our efforts to revolutionize the energy sector so that it becomes increasingly smart, digital and efficient. ”
“The mission of Regalgrid has fully materialized in this joint project with Alperia: the digital platform Regalgrid is becoming the reference standard to allow intelligent interaction between different devices and energy systems, in order to bring new advantages – of sustainability economic, social and environmental – both for pure consumers, renewable energy prosumers and energy communities. The fact that these remarkable results, carried out over a period of about two years, have also been certified and recognized by a third-party research body such as Eurac, makes us particularly satisfied and proud “- declares Davide Spotti, president of Regalgrid Europe srl.