A concrete example of cooperation and of blending resources between IDETA, the University of Mons and WeSmart.
Which information is of major importance when trying to set up an energy community ? According to WeSmart it is quite probably to know who in your neighborhood could be interested in joining your energy community and has a matching profile with yours !
A similar analysis was done by IDETA and the University of Mons. They then developed a software library able to simulate the energy consumption profiles of individuals and companies around you based on data like the surface of your building or your type of activity. So the algorithm can generate quarter hourly data about energy consumption of potential participants to energy communities.
They were looking for a partner to integrate those data in a user friendly interface and in a secured way. Based on its experience and its open source building blocks developed for its own platform, WeSmart built a tailor made interface for IDETA named Palamède.
IDETA as an inter-municipal approach to energy transition :
In 1991, an inter-municipal structure for economic development known as IDETA was created around the districts of Tournai and Ath. Since then, IDETA has expanded greatly, acquiring for example inter-municipal nature parks (PNPC, PNPE) as well as the Inter-municipal Financing entity of Western Hainaut (IFHO) in 2004. In 2006, they decided to create the Board for Picardy Wallonia Development.
If all of that lays the foundation of IDETA, its actions since 2008 towards renewable energy as well as a stronger community genuinely laid the groundwork for a cooperation with WeSmart nowadays.
Indeed, in 2008, IDETA created the sub-sector of Sustainable Energy and made a priority of reaching a better energy performance in a view of being successful in the regional energy transition. Based on such a will, they elaborated a strategic plan to invest in meaningful projects for Picardy Wallonia. Not only to reach a combination of renewable energy (wind, solar, biomass …) is among their main interests but also the fact that inhabitants and municipalities should get a steady and sustainable return on investment.
Their plan is also part of a broader strategy. Indeed it aligns with the Picardy Wallonia 2025 Regional Project led by Picardy Wallonia’s Development Council (in which IDETA is also involved) whose goal is to make of Picardy Wallonia a region of environmental excellence. Both plans contribute to achieve coherent, effective and concrete actions increasing the attractiveness of the area.
Actually, energy communities finely offer an efficient and concrete way to balance sustainable energy with economic benefits !
Focus on the Zelda project and the Palamede platform:
In such a context, IDETA and the Mons University, backed by the Walloon government, launched the Zelda project to gather local producers and consumers of energy towards a local and intelligent consumption of their energy. Why local ? Because in the traditional energy channel, there are generally 1.45% (Elia, 2020) of loss while transporting and 3.03% (Sibelga 2018) while distributing energy. By consuming local you save energy and already make a first step in consuming less !
So, the University of Mons developed a software library – currently being used by IDETA – based on artificial intelligence to generate profile types of various energy consumers. It generates quarter hourly data about your estimated energy consumption based on various characteristics. We can then forecast if your profile can match with the ones of your neighbors and imagine the future energy community you’ll be integrated to.
IDETA wanted this library to be integrated in a user friendly web platform, securized and open to the other intercommunal structures in Wallonia to let them simulate the energy flows of participants in a local energy community. The users can finally simulate the impact of adding a new participant in a Local Energy Community through this software.That is why they chose us to develop a tailor made online interface based on our experience.
The platform we developed – named Palamède – perfectly meets their expectations. As specified by Olivier Bontems, in charge of the energy and special projects department at Ideta :
“ WeSmart has a team of committed and human-oriented experts that were dedicated to our project. They quickly developed our tailor made platform with a great understanding of energy communities as well as our challenges and great advice. We are highly satisfied with the service they provided”Olivier Bontems, 2020
Indeed the Palamède platform enables:
💡 connection to the interface via secure user access,
💡 access to data from the database,
💡 management of user rights according to configurable profiles
💡 rights allocation varying for energy community managers and participants
💡 training of machine learning algorithms to be able to provide mathematics models that represent consumption profiles for Energy Community participants
💡 generation of participants’ consumption profiles based on several information (size, activities,…)
💡 comparison of energy flows for different potential communities
💡 dimensioning of local energy community
The existing algorithm developed by the University of Mons can then be used and trained thanks to the platform, thus allowing the analysis of potential renewable energy communities and their creation. For an energy community to be efficient, the consumers and producers profiles must match in order to optimize the use of local energy. WeSmart has the crucial role of enabling data to be clearly understandable by all in a split second and usable to better serve the energy community.