Flemish Institute for Technological Research
VITO, the Flemish institute for technological research, stimulates sustainable development in Flanders and Europe and reinforces the economic and social position of its region through developing innovative technological solutions and scientifically substantiated advice and support. VITO has an extensive customer base of both public and private players. With more than 600 highly qualified employees, VITO is the largest Flemish technological research organisation working on sustainability. The business unit Energy Technology focuses its activities on "smart systems for intelligent energy networks". One of the main activities is the development and deployment of advanced balancing and control algorithms for smart grids with high penetration of distributed energy sources. The technical expertise in this field is complemented by skills on models for local energy markets, balancing and VPPs. The group is a prominent partner in the EERA JP on Smart Grids; is linked to platforms like ETP Smart Grids or EEGI and is building a structural network of industry partners to co-develop the next-generation of smart grids technology.
VITO's Role in ELECTRA IRP: VITO will be leading WP4, dealing with fully interoperable systems. Besides this activity VITO will mainly contribute to WP3 to work out the high level functional architecture of the control system for voltage and frequency control.
Several projects reflect VITO's experience in the balancing of (electricity) networks and related technology. VITO has been involved in the ADDRESS project looking into ways to balance production and demand taking into account grid constraints, also one of the key objectives of ELECTRA. At the same time VITO is the project lead of the Linear project, the largest Smart Grid field test in Belgium – demonstrating active demand side management at the scale of several hundreds of households. VITO leverages the Intelligator® technology platform, an advanced distributed demand side management solution for smart grids. VITO has also been working with a number of industrial companies in setting up balancing solutions and VPPs in more industrial settings, which has also been translated into a successful SmartGrids demo under the NER300 scheme. Moreover, a network of smart energy cities has been created in Belgium to promote the creation advanced energy demonstration projects. Another crucial asset for this project is the e-Harbours project. This network of European harbor cities was created to lower the CO²-output and energy consumption of on-shore port operations (by creating VPP-like solutions, among others).