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Equigy and Fraunhofer FIT. A joint study to integrate SSI into the crowd-balancing platform.
In the past year, Equigy has taken steps to unlock the electricity market for more evenly distributed flexibility. While projects are being implemented in the different European ancillary services markets, the platform was successfully brought into operational processes in Italy and the Netherlands. All this, while complying with the system operator’s strict availability and security requirements. In the meantime, a next step is now being taken in a joint study together with the Branch Business and Information Systems Engineering of the Fraunhofer FIT – to design a solution to enable trusted validation enabled by self-sovereign identity (SSI).
In the journey to integrate distributed energy resources (DERs) into the existing ancillary service market, a phased approach is followed—The first step for Equigy was to see where the value is today. The platform enables aggregators to participate in existing balancing markets with ease of access and data communication to the Transmission System Operator (TSO).
A logical next step on this is to design and implement a solution that effectively validates the delivery from the aggregators. TSOs in Europe spend billions of Euros per annum on ancillary services and redispatch to ensure security of electricity supply. They clearly need to see that procured flexibility is securely delivered to the grid. While ancillary services are currently delivered by small quantities of large units, validation is based on the TSOs ability to audit their power output.
This may make sense for small amounts of larger units, but it’s problematic for aggregators with vast pools consisting of many thousands of DERs. This calls for a more automated approach. Establishing visibility on the power output of individual devices and the capabilities to validate this against what has been contracted is a crucial next step for TSOs to allow large-scale adoption of DERs.
Validation can only be trusted if the underlying data is credible. Therefore, data can only be trusted if the device can be uniquely identified, and its master data and measurement data originate from a secure and independent source – SSI enables this. It enables an ecosystem where independent third parties, such as an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), act as data issuers that provide and confirm the device data.
SSI places data control fully with the device owner. He or she can decide whether an aggregator or TSO is allowed to use their device data. This is an important advantage against the background of data protection regulations and the consumer’s growing reluctance to sharing data with a central party without their prior knowledge.
Aggregation of DERs can only scale once the TSO can trust the device data and each device owner is certain their data privacy is 100% respected. This therefore enables more trust in device data. By managing data privacy aspects, SSI could be the logical next step in evolving our crowd-balancing platform to support the decarbonization of the energy market.
SSI. A decentralized concept towards managing master data that’s stored by trusted issuers in a digital wallet—a place where the device owner has full control over the access to their data. Any verifier that needs admittance to this must receive permission from the device owner. It’s the technology that enables a set ecosystem. And like an ID card from a trusted government authority, nobody else has access to their data until the owner allows it.
Equigy plays a key role in the acceleration of the energy transition and the integration of the energy system. With the European crowd balancing platform, Equigy creates a trusted data exchange to enable aggregators to participate with smaller flexibility devices, such as home batteries and electric vehicles, in electricity balancing markets, turning consumers into prosumers. Owned by leading European transmission system operators, Equigy aims to set cross-industry standards throughout Europe, to support a future-proof, reliable and cost-effective power system that is independent of fossil fuel-based flexibility sources.
ABOUT Fraunhofer FIT – Branch Business and Information Systems Engineering
As a partner for digitization, Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things, the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT has been developing IT solutions tailored to people and seamlessly integrated into business processes for almost 40 years. As a driving force of innovation, FIT not only provides guidance, but also shapes the digital transformation in business, the environment and society. Business and Information Systems Engineering at Fraunhofer FIT is characterized by a techno-economic perspective on issues of digitization with a strong business focus. Our ambition is to cover topics of business and information systems engineering comprehensively at the highest level in terms of both content and methodology. Thereby, we combine methodological know-how at the highest scientific level with a customer-, goal- and solution-oriented approach. Together with our partners from business and society, we develop innovative solutions for individual problems based on our professional and technical expertise. We also provide impetus for digitization strategies and transformative change processes in companies.
Prof. Dr. Jens Strüker is professor for Information Systems and Digital Energy Management at the University of Bayreuth and one of the directors of the Fraunhofer Blockchain Lab. He also holds a leading position in the Branch Business and Information Systems Engineering of the Fraunhofer FIT. Dr. Marc-Fabian Körner is a postdoctoral researcher at the Branch Business and Information Systems Engineering of the Fraunhofer FIT and the University of Bayreuth where Prof. Strüker and Dr. Körner lead a group of researchers focusing on the potential of digital technologies for the energy transition and an effective climate protection.