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Organic grower Svegro participates in sthlmflex research project

To reach the goal of an energy system that runs on 100% renewable power, we must all help each other. This is the core idea of the sthlmflex research project, in which Svegro, an organic grower of herbs and lettuce, participated.

På svenska. Electrification is central to society’s transition to 100% renewable power. A likely challenge that may arise in the near future is that the need for electricity increases faster than the electricity grid has time to expand.

This means that in some places in Sweden, such as the Greater Stockholm area, there is a risk of a lack of capacity in the electricity grid. This is especially true for peak hours, that is, the times of day when most electricity is used.

The research project sthlmflex was launched to address this issue, with the aim of testing how a flexibility market could work in the region.

The core of the research project is to find solutions for the energy needs of tomorrow – solutions that can only be developed if we work together.

Svegro moved the night to another time of the day

One of the companies that has chosen to join us in the research project is Svegro – the market leader in fresh organic herbs and a major supplier of Swedish-grown organic lettuce.

By changing the lighting in its greenhouse, Svegro was able to turn down some lights when the energy needs of others were great.

For Svegro, the new lighting controls did not affect production; some plants merely had their “nights” slightly staggered. They could also get paid for the electricity they offered someone else.

In order to meet the demands imposed on its electricity supply, the electricity network in Greater Stockholm, among other places, needs to be stabilised. To this end, Svegro wanted to participate in this project together with Skellefteå Kraft, despite the fact that they needed to make manual adjustments to the greenhouse climate.

Svegro’s participation in the project contributes to reducing the impact on the electricity grid in their geographical area during the periods when electricity consumption is at its highest.

Svegro turns down consumption when others turn it up

The research project sthmlflex has been running for a couple of years now, and Skellefteå Kraft is involved as an aggregator.

We seek out companies and property owners who can adjust their consumption without affecting the company’s production or comfort inside the properties.

Because if someone can turn down their consumption for a while and offer some energy to someone who has a greater need at the time – well, then the available energy will be sufficient for more people.

The purpose of sthlmflex is to make it easier for flexibility suppliers to participate in all markets through the coordination of market design and product requirements as well as standards for communication. The flexibility market is the first of its kind to be tested in Greater Stockholm.

  • The project is in a research and testing phase and is now in Year Two. The trading period is 30 November 2021 through 31 March 2022.
  • Suppliers can either participate through free bids or with availability agreements.
  • sthlmflex was first implemented during the winter of 2021/2022 when consumption – during the so-called peak months – was at its highest and the need for flexibility was greatest.
  • Never before in Sweden had it been possible to purchase availability in this manner.
  • sthlmflex is operated by the electricity network companies Svenska kraftnät, Ellevio and Vattenfall eldistribution, which are flexibility buyers.

“The sthlmflex research project is an innovative concept that has succeeded in reducing the strain on the electricity grid in a heavily loaded metropolitan region. Skellefteå Kraft strives to contribute to this type of innovative solutions, through which we can secure the energy supply of the future without affecting either production or comfort.”

Magnus Brodin, Business Developer at Skellefteå Kraft

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