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MESH4U Project: deployment of a pilot in Aigle

Updated: Dec 20, 2021

Ecublens, August 5th, 2021

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), GridSteer SARL, Romande Energie SA and Commune d’Aigle are proud to join forces with GOFAST (Gottardo FASTcharge SA) to innovatively deploy the full potential of Electric Vehicle Fast Charging Stations (EVFCS) for the benefit of consumers, electrical grids and the environment. This collaboration is undertaken in the framework of a project financed by the ERA-Net European funding program as well as the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) which involves both national and international partners for a duration of 2.5 years (2021-2023).

Press releases from partners and media:

Strategic research to facilitate the growth of EVFCS on the Swiss network

EVFCS have the benefit to reduce the near complete charging time of a vehicle to around half an hour. However, charging a vehicle on a 150kW EVFCS is similar to powering over 300 apartments. Plugging and un-plugging electric vehicles (EVs) with such power levels is bound to provide high stress on the network. Additionally, shifting vehicles from fossil fuels to electric alongside the programmed Swiss nuclear phase-out will create even more stress on the supply of electricity. With the increasing number of EVs in Switzerland, a mismatch between transport and power sector evolution can affect both energy and climate strategies. Fully aware of the impact on the grid by the accelerating growth of EVFCS dissemination, the SFOE is funding our innovative project to contribute to the valorisation of these charging stations from a grid constraint to a grid asset.

Growing infrastructure on a strategic research and demonstration site

The rural network of Aigle is unique due to the large capacity battery it contains as well as the large amount of photovoltaic and hydropower resources upon which will soon be added four EVFCS. In line with the global energy transition, they well reflect the future grid. Hence, in anticipation of tomorrow’s infrastructure, this project will aim at steering a large Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) already in place and the four EVFCS to optimise the interaction between all energy resources in the grid. The main objective is to ensure essential grid transition readiness in the light of the Swiss Energy Strategy 2050 goals.

Harnessing the most out of energy resources

Thanks to our grid aware, dynamic, flexible, secure, and scalable control solution, the objectives and priorities of the energy resources can be adapted depending on the parties involved (may it be grid operators or industrial prosumers [1]).

For industrial prosumers:

· Optimal management of the aggregated local resources.

· Self-consumption optimisation.

· Peak-power shaving.

· Local grid voltage control.

· Line congestion management.

For grid operators:

All of the above as well as:

· Primary/secondary frequency regulation.

· Reactive power support to the upstream power grid.

These services will therefore improve both local consumption as well as the coordination between distribution and transmission grid operators.

A European led project to promote energy storage systems

Internationally, Multi Energy Storage Hub For Utility (MESH4U) is a project under the ERA-Net Smart Energy Systems initiative. It brings together industrial and academic partners from Poland, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy focused on innovating new solutions for the integration of multiple energy storage technologies.

[1] Prosumers are entities consuming and/or producing electricity such as charging station providers, private companies, hospitals or other

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