Flexible Generation

Controllable power production can contribute to frequency balancing, adequacy and congestion management, but with more variable generation in the grid, the need for flexibility increases. The flexibility of conventional and renewable power plants could be increased by combining generation with local storage or using advanced control algorithms.

Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES) can increase the flexibility of coal power plants or absorb production peaks from RES, reducing the need for curtailment. Thermal energy storage can offer frequency balancing for steam power plants and open- cycle power plants or help with adequacy or congestion management for variable generation.

Battery storage can help both conventional generation and wind and solar plants to provide frequency balancing services and voltage control. Algorithms can enable wind and solar to provide synthetic inertia, automatic voltage control and automatic generation curtailment, even without the use of storage systems.

Components & enablers

  • Technical integration of the storage units in the generation plant, especially for thermal energy storage.

State of the art in application and research

When wind and solar power plants constitute an increasingly large share of the European energy mix, this also leads to less natural inertia. WP5 of the OSMOSE project develops innovative control algorithms for synthetic inertia provision and automatic voltage control from PV and wind power plants. These algorithms are tested in a real-environment framework, assessing their reliability and effectiveness.

OSMOSE also develops and tests generation in combination with a battery energy storage unit in WP5 of the project, to establish whether it can provide frequency balancing and voltage support services.

EnergyNest’s product for thermal storage is already commercially available in the market. LAES is being tested, together with generation in a small pilot in the Kryolens project.

The CROSSBOW project not only explores how a Virtual Storage Plant (VSP) can be used by RES producers to maximise clean energy penetration, but also how a VSP can be used by system operators to increase grid stability.

EASY-RES develop novel control algorithms which will allow the penetration of up to 100% of RES in the European energy system in a reliable and secure manner. Towards to this direction is also oriented WindNODE pilot project.

FARCROSS aims to address this challenge by connecting major stakeholders of the energy value chain and demonstrating integrated hardware and software solutions that will facilitate the ‘unlocking’ of the resources for the cross-border electricity flows and regional cooperation.

HyBalance is a project that demonstrates the use of hydrogen in energy systems, enabling the storage of cheap renewable electricity from wind turbines.

PUMPHEAT develops an integrated, flexibility-oriented Combined Cycle Balance of Plant concept: the PUMP-HEAT Combined Cycle.

REACT’s objective is to achieve island energy independency by joining RES and storage, a demand response platform and promote user engagement in a local energy community.

REnnovates transforms outdated houses into intelligent ‘zero on the meter’ homes, significantly extending the life of such homes and improving energy efficiency to such an extent that a ‘zero on the meter’ scenario can be realised.

SCO2-flex defines and simulates future fossil fuel power plants’ work-flows and scenarios for advanced and complex flexible demand operations with massive renewable integration in the network.

The SMILE project demonstrates different smart grid technologies on three different islands for the transition towards a clean, affordable and reliable energy system. Through smart grids, peak demand can be reduced and the energy grid can be stabilised. VINPOWER (WP2) is also oriented to smart grid flexibility solutions.

STORY’s demos in residential and industrial zones are about showing the added value storage can bring for a flexible, secure and sustainable energy system. Furthermore, REE promotes projects for storage in the Canary Islands.

TILOS provides an optimum, real-environment smart grid control system and copes with the challenge of supporting multiple tasks, including the maximisation of renewable energy system (RES) penetration.

UPDRIG pilots gives real proven solutions to enable active demand and distributed generation flexible integration, through a fully controllable low voltage and medium voltage distribution grid.

WiseGRID focuses on smartening the distribution grid to gain advanced monitoring of the variable generation of virtual power plants and microgrids as active balancing assets with RES and batteries or heat accumulators.

Technology Readiness Level

Synthetic Inertia / Automatic Voltage Control from Wind / PV: TRL 4 – Development

OSMOSE will demonstrate how industrial wind power plants can provide synthetic (virtual) inertia and automatic voltage control.

Generation + Thermal: TRL 9 – Implementation

For thermal storage, the EnergyNest’s product is already in the market.

Generation + LAES: TRL 5 - Development

Kryolens only has a small-scale pilot on this topic.

Generation + Battery: TRL 7 - Demonstration

OSMOSE tests a wind power plant in combination with battery storage for synthetic inertia provision and automatic voltage control. Flexitranstore has a similar demonstration on a combined-cycle power plant.

Generation Automatic Curtailment: TRL 8 - Demonstration

NAZA implements area automatons to curtail renewable generation if constraints appear in the area. A nest version of NAZA will implement distributed controls (TRL 4) and a Model Predictive Control algorithm (TRL 6).

Current focus of R&D and research gaps

See State of the Art / TRL.



  • OSMOSE website: [Link]
  • Deliverable D5.1, available from: [Link]

[2] Flexitranstore – demo 7 [Link]

  • EnergyNest (thermal storage)
  • Kryolens (LAES)

[3] RTE, NAZA (New Area Adaptive Automatons), France

[4] CROSSBOW [Link]

[5] EASY-RES [Link]

[6] FARCROSS [Link]

[7] HyBalance [Link]

[8] PUMPHEAT [Link]

[9] REACT [Link]

[10] REnnovates [Link]

[11] SCO2-flex [Link]

[12] SMILE [Link]

[13] STORY [Link]

[14] UPGRID [Link]

[15] TILOS [Link]

[16] VINPOWER [Link]

[17] The Smart Grid Battery Storage Project Prottes [Link]

[18] StoreITup-IF [Link]

[19] WindNODE [Link]

[20] WiseGRID [Link]

[21] Energy Storage in the Canary Islands [Link]