Enel Green Power is looking for ideas and solutions to address the problem of energy congestion, which is being experienced in several regions. The proposals must provide an innovative approach to the problem, guaranteeing opportunities for sustainable use of the energy generated and for economic savings.
This is an electronic Request-for-Partners (eRFP) Challenge; the Solver is invited to submit a written proposal to be evaluated by Enel Green Power with the goal of establishing a collaborative partnership.
Enel Green Power is a global leader in the development and management of energy production from renewable sources (wind, solar, hydroelectric, marine and geothermal).
Increased penetration of generation in certain areas without corresponding increase in load or transmission creates constrained areas. When more energy is generated within these constrained areas than can be consumed or removed, a congestion occurs. Due to energy pricing compositions set by transmission operators, the price of energy within a constrained zone can become negative during a congestion event.
Enel experiences numerous congestion events throughout the year, each of which highly impacts both revenues and the amount of energy dispatched. Reliable and sustainable methods or technologies for mitigating and addressing congestion will help Enel Green Power to continue to deliver clean, low-cost energy to thousands of households, industrial customers and all the consumers requiring electric energy.
The growth in renewable generation in the last years has not corresponded to an equal growth in transmission capacity. The energy produced by thousands of wind towers and solar panels needs to be moved from generation to consumption sites, often hundreds of miles away. Electrons move across power lines similar to cars moving down a road. In both cases, congestion occurs when too many converge on the same path. Traffic jams are frustrating, but electricity congestion can be costly and may even cause power outages. Therefore, mitigating the impact of congestions on the grid is important for operators and end users alike: financially, sustainably, and across energy delivery.
Grid congestion occurs due to transmission constraints – a lack of transmission line capacity to deliver electricity without exceeding the thermal, voltage, and stability limits designed to ensure reliability. These constraints can also lead to inefficiencies. For example, as transmission lines reach thermal capacity, line loss – the dissipation of electricity along a wire – increases.
Generation and load nodes are distributed across large portions of land. When a generation node is on the “wrong side” of a congestion, it is said to be in an Export Constrained Area. When a congestion event occurs, generators inside the export constrained area can see the price of the energy they produce turning into negative value, thus the generators are paying for dispatching energy.
In order to maintain equilibrium in the supply and demand of energy, the transmission operator decreases the Locational Marginal Price (LMP) of nodes inside the export constrained area and increases it outside the constrained area. Locational Marginal Price is composed of the Marginal Price of Energy, the Marginal Price of Congestion, and the Marginal Price of Losses. Congestion is the primary driver of price separation: it is positive outside the constrained zone and negative inside the constrained zone. Some operators may then decide not to dispatch or generate energy to avoid paying the resulting high costs.
For instance, areas within Oklahoma and Kansas are highly affected by congestion. These states are part of the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), which serves 14 central states of the US and covers a region with high wind energy potential. The strong potential for generation within SPP has led to a substantial increase in the number of wind plants in the region. This has exposed Enel Green Power operations to congestion when local constrained areas are activated, particularly during winter and summer months when energy demand and generation is high. This impacts both the economic results of the company and its ability to dispatch clean and low-cost energy to its customers.
Enel Green Power is looking for ideas, solutions, and methods at TRL ≥ 6 that can mitigate the impacts of congestions. Every percentage reduction of congestions and loss results in a considerable amount of energy that can be dispatched and financial loss that can be avoided. Relevant solutions may include, but are not limited to:
- Strategic load additions in constrained regions or integrated into the power plants, also in the form of modular, pre-assembled, easy to install, systems.
- Line rating observation or adjustment advancements
- Enhanced organization or planning
- Note: energy storage can be a technical solution for congestion mitigation. However, since they are not typically profitable for this specific task, we will only evaluate business model proposal with a clear positive return.
Submissions should address the following Solution Requirements:
The proposed solution must:
- be deployable within the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), ideally within western Oklahoma and Kansas,
- be compliant with existing standards, both national and SPP,
- not require sustained access to or direct control over grid or transmission management assets,
- reduce overall impacts of congestion visible to generation sites,
- And have a TRL ≥ 6 (demonstrated in a relevant environment).
The proposed solution should:
- be deployable within 1-3 years,
- mitigate congestion events lasting approximately 8 hours/day on average,
- address key congestion events lasting up to 20 hours,
- not rely on significant expansions of transmission capabilities,
- be an environmentally sustainable activity or technology.
The submitted proposal should include the following:
- Clear description of the technology being used or of the method adopted
- Examples of technology, idea applications, or industry references if any
- Data, case studies, patents, journal references, or any other materials that may support the validity of the proposed solution
- Brief developmental plan toward adoption of the solution
- Basic assessment of the resources and cost required for implementation
- Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of the proposed solution
- Constraints, limitation, or gaps identified in the solution
The proposal should not include any personal identifying information (name, username, company, address, phone, email, personal website, resume, etc.) or any information the Solvers may consider as their Intellectual Property they do not want to share.
This Challenge contributes to the following UN Sustainable Development Goals:
- SDG 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
- SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
All proposers are invited to read carefully the challenge and the Regulation of this challenge, attached below in the Attachments section, before submitting a solution.
Explain your proposal clearly in English, attach documents (max 5 files, 25MB total size, ZIP, JPG, PDF format) if needed.
The employees of Enel Green Power who are involved in the organization and management of the Competition or admitted to the Open Innovability Portal back office, as well as their spouses or partners and their relatives up to the fourth degree, are not eligible for participation in this Challenge.
CHALLENGE, AWARD, IP RIGHITS, DEADLINE
A Non-Disclosure Agreement will be signed in case technology insights are needed.
Collaboration and testing agreements will be signed with the proposals that will be interesting to deploy our business strategy, to prove the technologies on field.
The selected proposals will be rewarded with the possibility to sign a collaboration and testing agreement with Enel and/or the relevant company of the Enel Group.
In particular, Enel will provide the winner with:
- the technical support to test the solution proposed, granting access to infrastructures and high-tech locations;
- the chance to being connected to international stakeholders, thanks to the global network of physical Enel Innovation Hubs around the world (eg. Italy, Tel Aviv, Madrid, San Francisco, etc..). Enel will bear the costs of the testing activities: for each project the necessary amount and the modalities will be evaluated together with the applicant.
If the test/PoC will be successful, Enel, directly or indirectly through a company of the Enel Group, might offer a concrete opportunity to scale-up the solution by adopting it through commercial agreements.
If the winning Proposal is submitted by an employee of a company of the Enel Group, the winner Applicant will be awarded with the possibility to be involved during the internal POC set-up activitiese.
Submissions to this Challenge must be received by June 26 2023 and the evaluation will start after this date.
Late submissions will not be considered.
Specific regulation in the CSA attached.
What happens next?
After the Challenge deadline, the Seeker will complete the review process and make a decision with regards to the Winning Solution(s). All Solvers that submit a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions.
The Seekers’ evaluation committee will evaluate the proposal using the following criteria:
Overall scientific and technical feasibility of the proposed solution;
Economic potential of concept (e.g. Total Cost of Ownership);
Business potential for the Seeker;
Potential for proprietary position (i.e., is the technology novel or protectable);
User’s capabilities and related experience;
Realism of the proposed solution; and
Maturity level of the proposal.
If the reward includes the opportunity to collaborate with Enel, once one or more suitable solutions have been identified, Enel will reserve the opportunity to start a collaboration, by way of example, on all or part of the following activities:
Supply of prototypes (if the solution includes equipment);
Installation and site tests;
Follow up and monitoring of the proposed idea behavior.
Upon completion of the evaluation, you will receive feedback. In case of success, an Enel contact person will get in touch with you to discuss the next steps.
The final award for this Challenge is contingent upon satisfactory completion of the verification process, including acceptance of the Challenge-Specific Agreement (CSA) that is the regulation for this Challenge.
The verification process includes obtaining the following from the Solver: signed affidavit (based on the CSA), employee waiver (if applicable), and proof of identify.