Integration of local flexibilities to facilitate the deployment of renewable energy
Flexibilities are an important experiment to adjust the distribution network for the deployment of renewable energy generation and the development of self-consumption. To do this, we must consider the power system’s functionalities of the distribution grid.
“Flexibility can be defined as a power modulation of demand or generation sites (either upward or downward) in response to an external signal, in order to provide a service to the power system” .
Transition energy context brings about the appropriate conditions of the distribution network. In this way, a flexibility “is a modulation of one’s consumption or generation pattern (either upward or downward) during a defined time period and in response to an external signal, in order to provide a service to the power system, for instance to solve a grid’s constraint. The service might be in terms of active as well as reactive power”.
Furthermore, the goal consists of considering new levers to optimize distribution network to get a use of local flexibility balanced “in matching a demand and an offer – in a given area over a given period”.
Flexibilities can use for two principal objects. Firstly, flexibility has long been used to balance national supply and demand and to relieve congestion on the transmission network.
However, according to Enedis report, additional flexibility is required to meet the national ambitions for wind and photovoltaic power, whose production is variable.
“The French Multiannual Energy Programme thus forecasts that demand side response could represent a total available power of 6,500 MW by 2028”.
Secondly, flexibilities can also be used to address more local issues. There is a special interest to territorial stakeholders who hope to optimize local renewable generation. In the same way, they want this dispositive to develop positive energy buildings, electric vehicle charging terminals, collective self-consumption, eco-neighborhoods, among others,
Congestion on the distribution grid
There are the congestion problems on the distribution grid because of power outages and voltage deviations. However, flexibilities can “contribute to the planning and real time management of the distribution grid”. That may solve difficulties of this congestion.
The industrialization of Smart Connection Offers (SCO) helps to connect costumers and producers. This one “consists in offering faster and less expensive grid connection, at the request of customers, when possible, in return for a flexibility commitment” .
Benefits for the distribution grid
The Enedis report considers certain benefits to enhance the distribution grid:
- Reduced costs and lead times when connecting renewable producers (the most important source of flexibility identified to date) as well as consumers,
- New planning and management tools to operate the grid,
- Flexibilities as an alternative to power resupply resources before or following an incident,
- Flexibilities to enhance work planning,
- Flexibilities to defer investments.
Moreover, flexibilities can use to simplify the connection of customers and encourage the renewable energy integration into the grid.
In addition, grid management and operation could be made more flexible by introducing flexibilities, which could reduce customer outages and restore power faster in case of an incident. That reduces operating costs to enable a concurrently flexibility service.
Therefore, flexibilities are used to power resupply resources as a precautionary tool before or following an incident.
Other related articles
 Flexibilities to enhance the Energy Transition and the performance of the Distribution Network. Enedis – L’électricité en reseau. October 2019. p. 3.
 How to take part in the co-building of DSO local flexibility? | Enedis
 Flexibilities to enhance the Energy Transition and the performance of the Distribution Network. Enedis. Op. cit, p. 3.
 Ibid., p. 4.
 Ibidem., p. 6.
 It’s a connection offer that guarantees supply / evacuation of 100% of power requested by consumers / producers 24 hours a day.
 Ibidem., p. 6.
 Ibid., p. 8.