Since December 1, Myrspoven and SISAB have managed about 50 buildings in the Stockholm flex (sthlmflex) project. Together, we contribute to solving the local capacity shortage in Stockholm. With this solution, not only energy producers work with maintaining the security of the energy supply in the Stockholm area. Now we also welcome the consumers to be part of the power shortage solution!

SISAB and Myrspoven’s new collaboration
The collaboration between SISAB and Myrspoven, which previously focused on streamlining energy use and improving the indoor climate at Stockholm’s schools and preschools, has taken a further step. In the new collaboration project, we will participate in sthlmflex to assist the flexibility market and counteract capacity shortages in the electricity network.

SISAB’s property portfolio has great potential to be flexible, primarily since large parts consist of schools and preschools. As a result of the operations in the properties, electricity output can be reduced when demand from the power grid and electricity prices are high. This is because many schools and preschools close earlier than many other properties. This allows SISAB’s properties to refrain when power peaks usually occur in Stockholm.

The project brings an incredible benefit since it allows everyone to contribute to a shared challenge. A building or property does not have to be newly produced or have the latest technology in hardware to be relevant in the project. Small aswell as large stock, new or old, all participation is relevant and constitutes an enormous asset.

During our participation in the sthlmflex marketplace, the energy price has been significantly higher than usual. This has been a driving force because it has strengthened profitability further for our properties and helped reduce the lack of power in the region.

How are the tenants in the properties affected?
The indoor climate or the tenants’ health must not suffer due to electricity consumption being flexed away during specific periods. At Myrspoven, we are cautious about this when we are buying and selling time with 50 of SISAB’s properties. To ensure that the tenants are not negatively affected, the “flexing” takes place primarily outside the period of use. If electricity consumption is reduced in the afternoon, measures have been taken to arrange a system that ensures that the temperature maintains a correct standard.

If a building is heated with electric radiators, these can be switched off for a few hours. Due to the generally high standard of facilities in Sweden, the temperature drops relatively slowly in properties. This is an exceptional advantage as we can take advantage of the building’s inertia or slowness, allowing buildings to withhold from electricity consumption and stabilize the electricity grid. Even if electricity consumption is reduced one afternoon, it takes time before any noticeable changes.

The graph below clearly shows how buildings can act when power shortages occur.
– In the first flex, the evening between 6/12 – 7/12, the building goes down with an average power of about 500kW.
– The second flex 9/12 – 10/12 flexes the buildings approx. 300kW (average power).

By being part of Sthlmflex, these buildings contribute to a more stable network and save money when the electricity price is high. Fossil fuels have also been used extensively to support the electricity grid during these times. As these energy sources are started last in the Nordic power system, the Flex technology can also positively impact the environment if more property owners implement such technology.

What are the opportunities to participate in the future?
Participation in sthlmflex is valuable for the whole region. If you did not participate this year, you do not have to worry. The project is being extended. What was initially intended to last between December 1 and March 31 2020 and 2021 will continue for another two winters. This will be a good opportunity for more players to seize the opportunity and hop on the train until 2022.

New to Sthlmflex? Here we will go through the fundamentals and the projects purpose.

What does the project mean – Stockholm flex?
A development and research project has been formed under the name Stockholm Flex (sthlmflex). The initiative started by Svenska Kraftnät, Vattenfall, and Ellevio aims to reduce congestion on the electricity grid when demand is most significant. The project is a marketplace whose goal is to relieve and balance the region’s energy system. In this way, companies and property owners can bid on and buy flexibility. This, in turn, creates conditions that benefit a more efficient and sustainable energy use for the Stockholm region. A region that at times risks a lack of capacity.

Lack of capacity and the reduction of power peaks
The Stockholm region faces a new challenge when local capacity shortages reach reality at an ever-increasing pace. There are only a limited number of electricity transmission points for the electricity supply to the Stockholm region. As Stockholm grows and electrification increases, we are constantly getting closer to maximum capacity when margins decrease.

We can proactively work towards a future power shortage now that Stockholm Flex has created a new local flexibility market. The project allows consumers who have the most significant impact but have not been active in the solution before to participate in a new market. The newly developed system ensures that the stability of our network is not only solved by electricity producers but also by consumers.

Sthlmflex is active during the winter months (when the temperature is about -5 degrees) when power peaks occur in the network. (Power peaks are when electricity consumption is at its highest.) During these peaks, the flexibility market is most favorable for consumers and sustainability. Suppose a building currently has a lower need for energy. It is possible to sell the electricity consumption and allow someone else to use the power and thereby stabilize the electricity grid. If a building is heated with electric radiators, we can switch these off for a few hours to allow someone else to use the energy.

We at Myrspoven believe in the sthlmflex project. We want to increase incentives for more participants to counteract the lack of network capacity, flex, and show the willingness to be part of a fundamental societal challenge.