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BioControl4Power: Optimal operation of biogas plants and biomass CHP at the intersection of electricity markets and heat consumers

The Austrian Renewable Energy Expansion Act (Erneuerbaren-Ausbau-Gesetz) envisages a significant increase in the share of renewable energy fed into the power grid by 2030. Much of the energy required for this will be provided by volatile sources. To cope with the increased volatility, biomass- and biogas-based plants, for example, can have a balancing effect and contribute to the greening of the power grid. However, these plants currently need to be subsidized to operate economically by receiving a market premium when participating in the electricity market. By optimizing participation in the short-term energy markets, it would be possible to increase revenues while contributing to the stabilization of the power grid. However, plant operators lack the appropriate tools to plan and implement efficient operations.

The project BioControl4Power aims to provide precisely these tools. Methods are developed that allow both optimized operation and, in simulation studies, optimal, cross-sector planning of energy centers. For this purpose, a modular, cross-sector, model predictive energy management system (EMS) will be extended to consider and intelligently use all flexibilities (storage, feeding for biogas, active shifting of load profiles) of the systems and to support participation in electricity markets.

This modular approach allows to orchestrate the sector coupling between the energy center, the heat grid and the electricity markets, as well as to consider the three biogenic generation technologies biogas CHP, wood gasifier and biomass steam boiler and to respond to the energy markets from the secondary control energy market to the day-ahead market.

The aim of the project BioControl4Power is to achieve a predictive operation management for an optimal participation in the markets, combined with low investment costs, as well as to answer current questions of plant operators about the profitability of investments in flexibility measures or other measures, e.g. the alternative of feeding directly into the gas grid.