European distribution networks and light-railway networks present common issues: both have been developed as independent networks, relying on the resilience and robustness of existing power supplies. However, renewable energy sources (RES) progressive penetration introduced an increasing degree of uncertainty on the direction of power flows.
Both networks are looking at integrated solutions targeting:
- reduction of electricity losses
- increased grid stability in a high local RES penetration scenario
- accommodation of the needs of new energy actors such as EVs, electrical storages and prosumers.
Electrified transport networks such as light railways could act to enhance distribution grid stability providing ancillary services inter-exchanging electricity. However, such potential is still unexploited. E-LOBSTER intends to capture such potential through the development of an innovative, economically viable and easily replicable electric Transport-Grid Inter-Connection System that will be able to establish synergies between power distribution networks, electrified transport networks (metro, trams, light railways etc.) and charging stations for EVs.
The proposed solution encompasses the integration of high power flow Electric Storage with smart Soft Open Points providing flexible control. The system will be managed by an integrated Railway and Grid Management System which, starting from the real time analysis of energy losses, will be able to optimise the interexchange of electricity between the networks maximising local RES self-consumption. The hardware and software control platform will be demonstrated at TRL 6 in one substation owned by Metro de Madrid. Business models and standardisation needs will be deeply analysed ,and measures to unlock existing barriers will be promoted. In parallel, the knowledge generated from the project will be further exploited for the definition of the up-scale design of a full scale E-LOBSTER system, paving the ground towards replication across the EU.