The FlexPlan project aims at establishing a new grid planning methodology considering the opportunity to introduce new storage and flexibility resources in electricity transmission and distribution grids as an alternative to building new grid elements. This is in line with the goals and principles of the new EC package Clean Energy for all Europeans, which emphasizes the potential usage of flexibility sources in the phases of grid planning and operation as alternative to grid expansion.
In sight of this, FlexPlan creates a new innovative grid planning tool whose ambition is to go beyond the state of the art of planning methodologies, by including the following innovative features:
- integrated T&D planning,
- full inclusion of environmental analysis,
- probabilistic contingency methodologies replacing the N-1 criterion as well as optimal planning decision over several decades.
However, FlexPlan is not limited to building a new tool but it also uses it to analyse six regional cases covering nearly the whole European continent, aimed at demonstrating the application of the tool on real scenarios as well as at casting a view on grid planning in Europe till 2050. In this way, the FlexPlan project tries to answer the question of which role flexibility could play and how its usage can contribute to reduce planning investments yet maintaining (at least) the current system security levels. The project ends up formulating guidelines for regulators and for the planning offices of TSOs and DSOs.
The consortium includes three European TSOs, one of the most important European DSO group, several R&D companies and universities from 8 European Countries (among which the Italian RSE acting as project coordinator) and N-SIDE, the developer of the European market coupling platform EUPHEMIA.