The FLEX-CHP project aims at quantifying the potential contribution of biomass- and waste-fired Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit to the safety of supply and to the network balance in Belgium. We collaborate with two industrial partners: 2Valorise and Entras. This project is funded by the Belgian federal Energy Transition Funds.
The increasing share of renewable energy sources in Belgium poses a future challenge of balancing the inherent variability in power generation. FLEX-CHP is exploring the potential of CHP plants to address this. Utilizing local biomass and waste residues, these plants can provide flexibility services to the electricity grid. The project aims to decouple heat and power production in these units by integrating energy storage systems and advanced dispatch algorithms. The current cogeneration plants operate in a heat-following mode; the project explores technical options and employs Machine Learning techniques to transform them into network support for load balancing, addressing technical and economic uncertainties. The outcomes of this project are expected to optimize the efficiency of these units, demonstrating their potential role in supporting the grid's balance.
In close collaboration with our two industrial partners 2Valorise and Entras, we developed a Python framework to model the plant's operation and test flexibility measures for energy and ancillary service markets. Furthermore, flexibilization measures like thermal energy storage and batteries were integrated into the framework. These enhancements allow for a "power and heat following" mode, optimizing emissions, cost efficiency, and energy efficiency performance. The project showcased its progress at the "Het Vlaams Bio-Energieforum" conference in Drongen, providing a glimpse into the potential of flexible cogeneration plants in the evolving energy landscape.
Vlaams Bio-energieforum (3/10/23)