Prototype and Field Test in Austria for Energy Communities

The Austrian Renewable Energy Expansion Act allows for energy communities as one means to achieve climate neutrality. These energy communities represent a novelty in the energy industry. For the first time, consumers and producers located in separate distribution grids can exchange energy across their grid locations while such energy deliveries do net need to be tracked in the participants’ balance groups.

In addition, there is an obligation for distribution system operators to provide daily information on the energy balance (total measured energy, energy share per metering point, self-supply) to a citizen energy community, using similar logics as for community generation plants with static and dynamic models. Since the participants of an energy community can also be located in different distribution grids, this calculation has to be implemented across distribution grid operators, which in extreme cases could lead to every distribution grid operator in Austria having to exchange data with every other distribution grid operator. The daily determination of these energy balances is the central subject of these requirement specifications.

Furthermore, it can be assumed that energy communities will change dynamically, i.e. participants (producers or consumers) will be added or removed very frequently. The associated administrative effort and the necessary adaptation in the calculation of the energy balance also represent a significant further development for the processes in the energy industry.

Basically, the EDA platform and the AS4 data communication protocol are used for the communication needs of the citizen energy communities (EDA – Energy Data exchange Austria – PONTON).

On behalf of the Austrian Energy Association, Oesterreichs Energie, PONTON is implementing the process logic described above, in cooperation with The Advisory House and several distribution grid operators.