Another big step has been made in the German InterFlex Demo. In Spring 2019 Avacon decided to extend its field test region to invite even more pilot customers to participate in the programme. First private household customers from the local districts of Syke and Diepholz, near the city of Bremen, have already been equipped with the new technical solution and welcomed in the project. The region reflects a representative mix of suburban and rural regions with a high penetration of DER, which offers perfect conditions for further testing of the developed integrated steering solution, the Smart Grid Hub, and it’s IT-infrastructure. So far the field test trials were focused on the region of Lüneburg.

Customers with flexible devices such as photovoltaic systems, heat pumps or night storage heaters used for central heating were equipped with a digital meter, smart meter gateway and control box. This makes small scale flexibilities both accessible and controllable for the DSO.

A key learning from the early phases of InterFlex was that only a surprisingly small share of interested customers can actually be involved in the flexibility mechanism that Avacon is demonstrating. The reasons are manifold, ranging from a lack of LTE-connectivity to technical and regulatory barriers. As a result, Avacon was falling behind expectations to acquire enough customers in the Lüneburg region even though a sufficient number of potentially interested parties signed up initially.

By expanding the field test area to the region south of Bremen, Avacon expects to increase the

number of customers that are online and participating in the flexibility mechanisms, and hopes to gain more insight into how different regions respond to the use cases presented in InterFlex.