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ELES as the Coordinator of the FutureFlow International Research Project

Co-organization of the Event is the Result of Good Cooperation between ELES and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

ELES is the coordinator of a four-year research project, worth 13 million euros, which will be funded by the European Horizon 2020 Programme. 12 partners from eight European countries, among them four system operators, research institutions, technology companies and two electricity traders, are involved in the FutureFlow International Research Project. All companies are leaders in their field with regard to technologies and services provided to their consumers. The FutureFlow Programme was today presented by the ELES’ experts to the representatives of the diplomatic corps of countries involved in the Project and the professional public at Vila Podrožnik. At the outset, the guests were addressed by Mr. Karl Erjavec, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia.

»Co-organisation of today's presentation is in fact the result of good cooperation between ELES and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since energy is increasingly an integral part of foreign policy dicussions. FutureFlow is an important international project, which opens doors to cooperation between the countries, companies and scientific institutions« stressed Mr. Erjavec, the Minister, in his opening speech and stressed his aspiration that scientific results, brought by the FutureFlow Project, would also be applied in the world economy.

The FutureFlow Project will expand the scope of the so-called secondary frequency control from the generation also to consumption, and will facilitate international implementation of such activity. The partners in the FutureFlow Project will thus explore new solutions for balancing the electricity system and for managing the flows in the European electricity network. For example, if the unforeseen difference between the cumulative generation and cumulative offtake occurs in Slovenia, the FutureFlow Project will make it possible that advanced consumers from Slovenia or any other country, such as Hungary or Romania, get around this problem. Advanced consumers, addressed by the FutureFlow Project, will be able to increase or decrease their consumption in a few seconds and thereby carry out functions that are today largely performed by traditional hydro or thermal power plants using fossil fuels.

The FutureFlow Project thus provides a key breakthrough for an active participation of consumers in the most demanding processes in the electric power systems and thereby reduces their cost of electricity and reduces CO2 emissions and the countries’ dependence on fossil fuels.

The whole FutureFlow Project solution will be unique and will provide ancillary services of the highest quality from alternative sources of reserve, that is to say in the consumption management and distributed generation. Within the Project the experts will seek breakthrough solutions for the integration of electricity consumers in the most demanding processes in the power system. They will study the organisational and technical aspects and test the proposals in a pilot testing environment.

As pointed out by Mr. Alexander Mervar, M.Sc., ELES’ CEO, »the FutureFlow Project is developing a new scheme of cooperation between companies in the electric power system, which intervenes very deeply in the current scheme and changes business models, information flows and energy flows. Therefore, the Project is blurring the boundaries between countries in the field of real-time balancing of power systems and increases energy integration between the countries of Europe. This will allow advanced consumers and distributed renewable sources of generation to ensure the stability of the system as never before, i.e. with the assistance of the FutureFlow Project.«

As a development project FutureFlow will not remain only at the level of scientific contributions since the prototype solutions will also be the result of Project work, which will allow industry to use said results in the real economy immediately after completion of the Project.

Owing to all the aforementioned breakthrough solutions and the breach of the gap between the Project’s objectives and today's environment, the Project would not exist without the EU funding, provided by the European Community under the Horizon 2020 Programme and which fully finances the Project.

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