The microgrid is a system of connected electricity consumptions that manages the energy needs of all its components in order to reach the following objectives:
- energy costs optimization by maximizing the use of locally produced power through the management of energy flows;
- power quality and reliability improvement through the reduction in the number and duration of power outages;
- reduction of CO2 emission.
Is it really possible to reach these goals? The answer is yes.
The Energy Management System (EMS) makes it possible to enhance remote data monitoring, advanced building management, energy flows optimization and demand response programs.
MyLeaf is the EMS developed by Loccioni that allows to:
- integrate and distribute the power produced by renewable resources (solar, CHP, wind, water) and store the one in excess in order to use it when it is necessary;
- reduce energy costs and optimize self consumption through demand/response, load shading, peak shaving, time shifting etc.;
- switch automatically from an on-grid situation to an off-grid situation;
- guarantee power continuity in case of grid failure.
The evidence that microgrid can be realized and that the results previously indicated can be reached is given by the microgrid created in Loccioni. It is composed of two, integrated, complementary grids generating, distributing, regulating and measuring not only electric flows but also the thermal ones.
The most important parts of Loccioni microgrid are the following:
- 2 PV systems (148 kWp and 250 kWp)
- 2 Micro hydro electric plants(36 kWp and 50 kWp)
- 1 Electric storage (224 kWh)
- 1 Thermal storage (450 cubic meter)
- 4 buildings (a residential unit, two industrial buildings, an office building)
The results achieved are astonishing and they keep on improving:
- 58% of energy used in the microgrid is produced from renewable sources;
- 89% of energy produced in the microgrid is self-consumed or stored, while the 11% is sold to the external grid;
- 38% of hours per year in which there is total independence from the external grid (off-grid);
- 60% CO2 emission reduction.
Thanks to the investments that brought to the realization of the microgrid, Loccioni has been able to limit of 55% the energy acquired by the external grid. This is why Loccioni is often recognized as a model in the innovation and sustainability fields by the press and the public.
According to an Italian study conducted by Politecnico di Milano the Energy Communities (basic components of the microgrid) will be 100.000 in Italy in 2030; this is the most optimistic scenario that simulates an evolution of Italian regulations that supports the creation of Energy Communities.