Comillas contributes its know-how to the European project EUniversal

The university is driving the transformation of the electrical grid as well as an inclusive and efficient energy transition


The ICAI School of Engineering at Comillas Pontifical University (Comillas ICAI) and the university Technological Research Institute (IIT, in Spanish) actively are participating in the European project EUniversal, which aims to transform the operation of the electricity grid by developing the Universal Market Enabling Interface (UMEI).

The system on which the project is based uses a universal interface to give impetus to the transformation of the electrical grid for the purpose of overcoming its current limitations in order to enable the energy transition in an inclusive and economically efficient manner, and to prepare the system for various possible future scenarios. "The importance of using flexibility in distribution networks is a key factor in facilitating the energy transition through faster and more efficient integration of renewable electricity generation. It also encourages the active participation of end consumers - which is one of the European Energy Union's priorities," says IIT researcher Rafael Cossent.

He continues: "This concept represents an innovative, adaptable, modular and evolutionary approach that will serve as a basis for the development of new business models, market solutions and, above all, "ensure the active participation of consumers, who are at the heart of any research project in this area".

The solutions developed under the EUniversal project will be tested in three pilot projects in Portugal, Germany and Poland, each of which has different types of distribution networks and regulatory frameworks. The results obtained will serve as an example to be applied across Europe, such that the solutions will be replicated across the continent, thus moving towards a pan-European electricity system that is focused on end consumers.

A joint project

EUniversal involves 19 partners from eight countries, including distribution network operators from Portugal, Germany and Poland, as well as institutions from academia, consultancy and research, market platforms, aggregators and others.

The project was launched in 2020 and is expected to run for 42 months with a budget of 9.8 million euros. Its aim is to develop and implement an innovative universal and interoperable interface in a real operating environment that allows distribution managers to procure flexible services through market mechanisms in line with European regulation.

The EUniversal project has received funding from the European Horizon 2020 Research and Development Program under grant agreement no. 864334.