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AIT – Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Austria

General description

AIT Austrian Institute of Technology is Austria’s largest non-university research organisation with more than 1.300 employees. It takes a leading position in the Austrian innovation system and a corresponding key role in Europe. At the AIT Center for Energy, around 240 employees research solutions for the supply of sustainable energy. Many years of experience and scientific excellence of the AIT experts as well as high-quality laboratory infrastructure and global networking ensure innovative and applied research services and thus a clear competitive advantage in this future market. The thematic portfolio of the Center for Energy is based on three central systems: Sustainable energy infrastructure, decarbonization of industrial processes and systems, and innovative technologies and solutions for urban transformation. In TwinVECTOR two research fields of AIT are providing a key expertise on energy economics and storage system integration: Integrated Energy Systems and Hybrid Power Plants.

The Competence Unit Integrated Energy Systems at the Center for Energy focuses on the generation and integration of renewable energy sources in the existing electricity system, as well as on district heating and low-temperature networks. The transformation and digitalization of the energy system not only require technological solutions, but above all the interplay of technical possibilities with aspects of the energy industry. This includes the introduction of new regulatory frameworks to ensure the economically successful operation of a sustainable energy system.

The rollout of medium- and large-scale renewable power plants will accelerate in the coming years. However, the acceleration will be slowed by increasing limitations of the local electricity grid. Consequently, there will be growing need for operational optimization of renewable power plants, the combination of generation plants with energy storage systems and on-site sector coupling. Thus, the focus is on the combination of renewable power plants (primarily PV and wind) in local combination with flexibility, (battery) storage and/or sector coupling. The thematic field of Hybrid Power Plants (HPP) addresses the needs of such installations, by focusing on three main pillars:

  1. grid-tied power plant assessment,
  2. procurement /implementation support and
  3. plant operation/management.

Expertise related to the project

The most important research topics of Integrated Energy Systems are techno-economic analyses, the use of flexibility in the electricity system, and the evaluation of energy system and market models and their effects on energy markets. Another focus is on optimization concepts and new business models for effective sector coupling. These topics are also key for the future integration of electric storage into the energy systems and will be thus a core for the knowledge provided to the project.

The hybrid power plants research group expertise that will be provided into the project focuses on techno-economic analyses, based in the Plant assessment. The input will include knowledge in battery storage technologies, battery applications and simulative analysis of battery storage applications. The aim is to provide a decision base for possible implementation and procurement of battery storages.