Research news

The first self-sufficient village in Slovenia

Photo: Rok Deželak

Publish Date: 06.08.2020

Category: Interdisciplinary research, Our contribution to sustainable development goals

Sustainable development goals: 7 Affordable and clean energy, 9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure, 11 Sustainable cities and communities, 12 Responsible consumption and production, 13 Climate action, 17 Partnerships for the goals (Indicators)

The COMPILE Project is the first European project within the Horizon 2020 programme, whose international consortium is coordinated by the University of Ljubljana. Thanks to the project partners, especially Petrol and the Laboratory of Energy Policy (LEST) from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, the first Slovenian energy self-sufficient community was established in Luče this spring.

The COMPILE Project focuses on remote areas and areas that are only weakly connected to the power grid, so-called energy islands. The main aim of the project is to show the opportunities of energy islands for the decarbonisation of energy supply, community building, and creating environmental and socioeconomic benefits. These opportunities will be presented at five pilot locations (in Slovenia, Spain, Croatia, Portugal and Greece) by means of six COMPILE tools. The project, which began in November 2018 and will be conducted until April 2022, was estimated to be worth EUR 6.5 million. The consortium comprises 12 partners from the EU and two international partners from India and China; it is coordinated by Associate Professor Andrej F. Gubina, Head of the Laboratory of Energy Policy from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana.

Luče, a village in the Upper Savinja Valley, is one of the project’s pilot locations. It is situated in a remote Alpine area that has unreliable power supply due to its weak connection to the main power grid and extreme weather conditions. The network’s low capacity frequently limits the production of local renewable energy sources.

Today, the energy community in Luče is completely energy self-sufficient in certain time periods. The management of individual facilities in the community and of the energy community as a whole enables its members production from solar power stations that is five times higher than that initially enabled by the grid.

Within the COMPILE Project, solar power stations were installed on nine buildings with a total capacity of 102kW; also installed were five household batteries (two 10 kW/23.2 kWh, one 10 kW/11.6 kWh, one 5 kW/9.8 kWh and one 3.5 kW/7 kWh) and one systems battery with a capacity of 150 kW (333 kWh). The latter powers 35 measurement points in the energy community, which include various facilities ranging from residential houses and farms to companies and the post office. Luče also acquired a public charging point for electric vehicles. The management, analyses and optimisation of the functioning of the system is enabled by Petrol’s technical information system called Tango and the “Home Energy Management System” (HEMS), which was developed within the COMPILE Project.

In addition to these new acquisitions, the project partners, supported by the local distribution network operator, Elektro Celje, tested island operation, which could provide the energy community with energy completely independently of the main power grid in the event of grid disruptions. Island operation, which was tested in Luče, is the first such island operation involving a systems battery in a village in the EU.

By forming an energy community and realising the energy solutions, the inhabitants of Luče now have a more reliable electricity supply and have enhanced the inclusion of renewable energy sources. According to Ciril Rosec, the mayor of Luče, the project extends beyond technical improvements, as it has contributed to better neighbourly relations as well as to reliable energy supply for residents.

Solutions developed within the COMPILE Project and applied in Luče are the result of Slovenian know-how and have major potential for further use, especially in the countryside, where the distribution network is weak and the options of including renewable energy sources are limited.

Additional information about the project is available on the project’s official website:

Compile project

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