Selected by the European Commission from among 28 other candidates, and within the framework of the largest EU Research and Innovation program known as Horizon 2020, the Smart Grid project Interflex was officially launched on January 1st, 2017. The project involves electricity retailers, power component manufacturers and smart grid experts from five European distribution companies: ČEZ Distribuce (Czech Republic), Enedis (France), E.ON (Sweden), Enexis (The Netherlands), and Avacon (Germany). Over the course of three years, the 20 project partners will explore new ways to use various forms of flexibilities with the aim of optimizing the power system on a local scale.
Learn more about InterFlex

Making the grid “smart”
in the Alpes-Maritimes department

NICE SMART VALLEY is a project that will test intelligent electric systems (Smart Grids) for Smart Cities, in order to optimize the electric system on a local scale. In particular, it aims at integrating more decentralized electricity production (renewable energy sources) into the grid and preparing it for the incorporation of electric vehicle charging stations. The project involves energy suppliers (EDF, ENGIE), distribution system operators (Enedis, GRDF), industrial partners (GE and Socomec) and the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis.

NICE SMART VALLEY will test different flexibilities, which are technologies used to temporarily adjust the electricity exchanged within the grid. They allow the grid to adapt to new customer behaviors, the inclusion of renewable energy sources as well as to the incorporation of electric vehicles.

Flexibilities are operated by energy suppliers and can take different forms: a customer reducing his or her consumption during peak consumption periods, a storage system charging when renewable energy is available, and so on. The project will test the complementarity of the gas and electric grid (“gas/electricity flexibilities”) such as cogeneration and gas/electric hot water tanks, a technological first in France. In another first for France, it will also test collective self-consumption with storage systems in a residential district.

Innovative IT platforms will activate these flexibilities, connecting the distribution system operator Enedis to the suppliers/aggregators ENGIE and EDF.

NICE SMART VALLEY will also study temporary islanding on the scale of a neighborhood connected to the public distribution grid. During a defined and limited duration of time, a part of the electricity grid will be disconnected from the main grid but is still supplied by local energy generation and balanced by storage systems.

In addition, the storage systems could also be used to store the solar energy produced during the day so that it can be used when consumption rises in the evening.

Finally, the project provides the Nice Côte d’Azur metropolis with a wide variety of data concerning the electricity distribution grid and the flexibilities enabling to control its energy consumption and to make savings.

Through different experiments, NICE SMART VALLEY will promote locally-generated electricity consumption as a complement to the public distribution grid supported by suppliers’ commercial offers. The goal is to reach a point of industrialization of the experiments tested in NICE SMART VALLEY after the conclusion of the three year project.

A demonstration anchored
within an innovative territory

The NICE SMART VALLEY project region extends from the Plaine du Var’s (Var River Valley) business parks, through part of the Nice Côte d’Azur metropolis, and up to the borders of the Alpes-Maritimes department including the Isola ski resort, Guillaumes village and the Lerins Islands. These areas were selected as they represent a need for new technologies to improve grid management. NICE SMART VALLEY aims to position itself within an innovative territory ready to accommodate new Smart Grid experimentations. By creating a synergy between all of the stakeholders, the objective is to make the territory smart by deploying new information and communication technologies.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 731289.