EdgeFLEX - Providing flexibility to the grid by enabling VPPs to offer both fast and slow dynamics control services


EdgeFLEX is a H2020 European project, which aims at defining a new architecture for Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) deployed in a multi-layer solution, where multiple layers of dynamics are interfacing via communication addressed by 5G-powered edge clouds, laying the foundation for a fully renewable energy system. With the proposed architecture, VPPs are brought to a new level, enabling them to interact on markets offering various ancillary services to System Operators. EdgeFLEX will develop this next generation VPP concept and demonstrate it in the context of field trials and lab tests. It will explore innovative optimisations, financial tools and business scenarios for VPPs and assess the economic and societal impact. It will actively work to remove barriers by contributing to standards and European level regulation.


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Edoardo De Din

Team Leader Automation, Interoperability and Resilience


EdgeFLEX is a three years project, started in April 2020, aiming at defining a completely new way to offer flexibility to the grid with a new set of fast and dynamic ancillary services, a new market, and expanded role for VPPs. EdgeFLEX architecture will offer the ability to enable active participation of small-scale RES and prosumer assets in providing grid stability and competitive optimisations reducing re-balancing needs.

The project pursues the following main research goals:

  • To research frequency control concepts for Dynamically Controlled VPPs for the TSO and DSO domains.
  • To research inertial response control algorithms for Dynamically Controlled VPPs for a DSO/TSO interaction.
  • To research dynamic-phasor driven voltage control concepts for Dynamically Controlled VPPs for the DSO domain.
  • To optimise the combination of variable and dispatchable RES, incorporating all types of distributed flexibility.

The project partners are from industry and academia, from Germany (RWTH, EDD, BAUM, SWW), Irland (UCD, WIT), Italy (UNIBO) Switzerland (ALPQ), Romania (CRE) and Slovenia (INEA). The consortium brings together expertise in different fields, including distribution grid management and regulations, energy markets and information technology that together will contribute to realizing the EdgeFLEX goal.

EdgeFLEX vision

Beyond replacing centralised production plants, Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) could be enabled to offer new fast and dynamic ancillary services to power grid operators, exploiting new levels of flexibility and new opportunities to balance the grid locally in order to cost-effectively increase overall system stability. 5G can enable the operation of such new services with fast and reliable communications increasing the resilience and reliability of power systems, integrating the energy and ICT infrastructures for optimal performance and increasing the resilience and reliability of the entire power systems. In the frame of the EdgeFLEX project VPPs become Dynamically Controlled Virtual Power Plants. They bring optimally aggregated power generation to the markets and at the same time provide services for managing grid stability.

  Before and after EdgeFLEX Figure 1: Before and after EdgeFLEX

EdgeFLEX field trials

The EdgeFLEX architecture will be deployed and tested in the three different pilots located in Italy (UNIBO) and Germany (SWW). RWTH will participate in the all the field trials, with the goal of the demonstrating the Voltage control, the Frequency and Inertial Response control concepts. RWTH will also support the trials, providing updated version of the low-cost PMU. The test of the architecture and of the services will be also performed in the RWTH laboratory.

  The EdgeFLEX field trial locations Figure 2: The EdgeFLEX field trial locations



Manuel Pitz

Laboratory Manager / Team Simulation Infrastructure and HPC


+49 241 80 49582



Rolle der RWTH im Projekt

Die RWTH ist an mehreren Arbeitspaketen beteiligt. Die RWTH unterstützt die Entwicklung des Spannungsregelungsalgorithmus in WP1. In WP2 leitet die RWTH das Arbeitspaket zur Entwicklung des Inertialschätzungs- und Frequenzregelungsdienstes. In WP4 wird die RWTH die Integration der Dienste in die Architektur unterstützen, während wir in WP5 Algorithmen für die Feldversuche bereitstellen werden.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 883710.