A sophisticated intelligent ICT system has been developed for the management of energy in a community, focussed on the concepts of aligning energy demand with the availability of renewables-based supply, addressing community goals for cost, carbon footprint and other objectives.

The system comprises algorithms for prediction of demand and supply, optimization of energy management actions, and continual control of all software and hardware elements across the energy network. The hardware basis comprises smart meters in buildings, actuators for selected devices, one or more central servers, and an associated communications infrastructure. This system is being  developed, and installed and evaluated at three communities across Europe, namely: Damanhur in Northern Italy, Tamera in Southern Portugal, and Findhorn in the North of Scotland.

In brief and in broad chronological order, the project’s activities are as follows:

  1. To audit the energy network at the three validation communities
  2. To build numerical models of the three communities, and begin to develop appropriate business models for community-based energy management;
  3. To develop the various algorithms involved in the ORIGIN architecture, and specify the hardware and communications infrastructure required at each of the three communities;
  4. To  install the ORIGIN system in each community, monitoring mode (before the algorithms are fully developed), and collect 12 months’ energy usage data from each community;
  5. To install the full ORIGIN architecture at each community, beginning with a brief phase in which the system is installed at a selection of buildings and tested and refined;
  6. To collect 12 months’  usage data in each community while the system is active, and then perform a full evaluation of the performance of the ORIGIN approach;
  7. Based on experience/analysis, to advise each community on future alternative energy development plans;
  8. To deliver several outputs concerning transfer of the technology for more widespread use across the EU, including reports concerning general business models for energy management, applying the ORIGIN approach to arbitrary communities, and also deliver a mix of associated open-source software and commercial outputs, the mix and nature of which to be determined during the project in discussion with stakeholders.