On November 23rd-24th 2016 in Brussels (Belgium), the kick-off meeting of the EU-funded R&D project named Flexible Heat and Power (FHP) has taken place. FHP main objective is “To Secure mitigation of RES curtailment in the electric distribution grid by dynamic coalitions of power-to-heat resources”. FHP has the potential to provide total thermal flexibility with the aim of increasing the share of renewables by 22% over the total electric consumption from current technical limits (40%). The European Commission has selected the FHP project, led by VITO, within the call of the Horizon 2020 European Union funding for Research and Innovation.

Consortium has been built on great partners covering a wide range of complementary skills and, therefore, it is a must for all of us to perform the project with success. Mr. Adas Pagonis, Project Officer at the EU Commission, and Chris Caerts, Project Manager of VITO, opened the meeting and highlighted the added value of thermal sources to shift electric load to those moments when the Renewable Energy Sources (RES) are producing more electricity than needed, specifically those related to heating or cooling, and to support the technical constraints of the Distribution System Operator (DSO).

FHP is a project under the European H2020 program that relies on 7 partners from 5 European countries, and 2 demonstrators (The Netherland and Sweden) supported by different transversal work packages that define the demo scope and analyse their results and impacts based on the project objectives. It involves partners with different expertise in the energy field: DSO, aggregators, equipment manufacturers and research centres. FHP has objectives in two interrelated areas: Technical and Economic. In the technical area it is aimed at 1) calculating the potential electric flexibility that can be offered by thermal sources, with special focus on HVAC systems of tertiary buildings and heat pumps, 2) harvesting the flexibility to secure mitigation of RES curtailment 3) developing a solution formed by a Grid Flexible Heat Pump, a Building level agent, and a Dynamic Coalition Management that will enable the flexibility offers, execution for RES curtailment secure mitigation, and 4) validating the solution in the two demo sites. From an economic point of view the project explores new economic business cases for BRPs, DSOs, aggregators, RES owners and Facility Managers.