Published on December 5, 2019 – updated December 6. Writer: Veronica Gates-Carlsson
The latest years lack of power capacity in the Malmö region was an eye-opener and sparked actors in the energy sector to actively look into solutions which can shave peak electricity demands. Solutions to climate and sustainability issues, such as lack of power capacity, calls for innovative ideas, synergies and collaboration between different stakeholders to succeed.
Therefore the actors Smart Cities Accelerator, City of Malmö and E.ON decided to launch an Open Innovation Call. The aim was to invent and identify a various way to shave peak power demands on a district level. The call invited anyone to participate and share their ideas. Four finalists were chosen to pitch their solutions in front of the jury and audience.
Power 2U came out as winners with their proposed solution ‘Flex Power’. The idea behind with Flex Power is that a future energy system should be decentralized, based on local storage and high flexibility. A local controller is to be used for metering and controlling the power usage on a local level, and a supervisory/cloud controller is to be used to predict and schedule different energy-consuming devices. Their solution is based on a local system operator which acts between the real estate owner and the power system owner.
Addis Moiteaux from Power 2U was excited to win the Open Innovation Call:
“We are excited to collaborate with E.ON and hoping to create a case study where we can test our solutions together with real estate owners and the energy market. Also, this event is great as it collects people on the same subject. And it’s perfect in size and format to successfully network with others trying to solve the same important issue.”
The Open Innovation Day collected about 25 people, who all got the opportunity to listen to the four finalists pitching their solutions. The four finalists had different approaches to the problem and can be seen as complementary to the same stressing issue. Jury Member Per-Arne Nilsson, Senior Advisor at Environment Department, City of Malmö points out that the solutions were unusually interesting.
“The solutions were so different from each other and complementary at the same time. In one sense all the finalists should have won the Open Call together. But then Power 2U’s solution was the most innovative.”
During the presentations finalist, Christoph Riekert pitched a good technical solution in the Sege park peak shaving by batteries. The second finalist, WE Power, proposed a solution with a strong focus on engaging inhabitants in the change. Finalist Tempiro, on the other hand, focused the technical part of the system which the Jury assessed likely to be used in the system. Lastly, the winning team Power 2U presented their Flex Power solution.
Jury member, Ann Marie Damgaard, also Project Lead Smart Cities Accelerator, adds that the finalists’ complementary solutions show the importance of working together.
“The finalists’ solutions all show the need to work together to solve the complex issue of power peak shaving. We need to work interdisciplinary. And everyone along the line needs to get involved, even the end consumers.”
John Backe, Head of Business Development E.ON Energidistribution AB says that the Open Innovation format provides a good opportunity to address a specific aim, such as peak power shaving, as the initiative is framed around the city and its specific demand.
“The Open Innovation Format is inspiring. We have to be honest about the urgency in these societal challenges and also be breaking new ground in our calls. The Open Innovation Call provides us with a chance to be more active in requesting innovative solutions to these issues.”
The first prize in the Open Call is a customized support program by the E.ON Agile, where the winner can expect different types of business support such as setting up pilot programs, finding collaborations, solution design, sales and marketing, or testing their ideas.