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Meppelenergy: developing a hybrid Smart Grid for urban districts

Research project

Funding: TKI Smart Grid, AgentschapNL
Duration: 01-01-2013 until 31-12-2015
Contacts: Richard van Leeuwen, Gerard Smit
Staff: Richard van Leeuwen
Collaborations: University of Twente, Rendo duurzaam, Municipality of Meppel, i-NRG, Delft University, Meppelenergie


Over the next twenty years, Meppel will develop a unique residential area with 3,400 homes, called Nieuwveense landen. An important target for the development of this district is that future residents should receive optimal comfort at the lowest cost and minimal environmental impact.

To achieve this, the municipality of Meppel and RENDO founded Meppel Energy which represents a hybrid energy concept and local ESCO for the new urban district. A number of studies have determined that a hybrid system with heat and electricity from a biogas CHP is best suited to achieve the ambition. Part of the houses receives heat for space heating and hot water by district heating. Another part receives electricity for heat pumps which use an underground thermal source. Part of the underground source regeneration is delivered by cooling of the houses, the other part by waste heat from purified waste water. For this hybrid network of thermal and electric energy generation and consumption, a Smart Grid control system is to be developed.

In the first phase of 444 homes, the Smart Grid will be demonstrated in order to provide thermal energy to the homes as efficient as possible. In addition, houses will be monitored and resident participation and gaming will be used to encourage residents to save on energy consumption.

A number of partners are working together to realise and generate learning effects from this innovative Smart Grid project. These are: MeppelEnergie, RENDO Duurzaam, Meppel municipality, University of Twente, iNRG and Delft University.