ROBUST is the world's first integrated research into a city-wide, future-proof and flexible electricity system. It is working on an integrated flexibility system at city-region level to facilitate more and more sustainable energy and electric transport in cities. For this, flexibility is available from flex sources such as the smart and bidirectional charging of EVs, stationary batteries, heat pumps and heat storage. Separate flexibility systems at neighborhood level (for the functions living, working and mobility) are combined into an integrated flexibility system at city-region level. This flexibility system contributes to the transition to fully sustainable generation and sustainable mobility with minimal social investment.


From congestion to flexibility

The Netherlands is working on the transition to a sustainable energy supply. The strong growth of decentralized sustainable electricity generation, gas-free areas and electric transport pose challenges for the current electricity system. Local overload occurs on the grid and national supply and demand must be matched. ROBUST investigates the optimal relationship between grid reinforcement and the use of flexibility, with the aim of reducing congestion problems and providing flexibility to national energy markets.

Region-wide flexible electricity system

ROBUST is the world's first research into large-scale deployment of bidirectional (vehicle-to-grid) passenger cars in combination with batteries, smart charging buses and other assets. The aim is to realize a flexible electricity system at the level of city regions. The bidirectional electric cars are charged with locally generated renewable energy, and can supply the energy back to the grid when needed. Smart software ensures coordination between the consumption and generation of electricity. Cars thus form a temporary storage of sustainable energy, like a battery on wheels. The ROBUST consortium is developing a region-wide flexibility system that provides cities with more and more sustainable energy and electric transport.

Exploiting potential

ROBUST will be developing an integral energy system based on flexible energy sources (flex sources) such as bidirectional charging cars, heat-pumps, etc. The project partners are investigating, among other things, what the optimal ratio is between grid reinforcement on the one hand and the use of flex resources on the other. They also investigate how the right energy market design, effective financial incentives and other factors can positively influence the flex resources and associated players.



Intended Deliverables

  • Proof-of-principle delivery of an optimal ratio between flexibility and grid reinforcement, validated on behavioral aspects, data security, security of supply, economic value, policy development and legal implications.
  • Proof-of-principle delivery of a flexible electricity grid for optimal living, working and mobility at city level.
  • Connect pioneering innovation clusters around flexibility systems in Utrecht and Arnhem- two major cities in the Netherlands


Project Partners

The ROBUST consortium comprises of Stedin, Smart Solar Charging BV / We Drive Solar BV, Enervalis, Edmij, ElaadNL, Delft University of Technology, Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, the Municipality of Utrecht and the Municipality of Arnhem, led by Utrecht University and the Utrecht Sustainability Institute. This consortium will collaborate intensively with end users, stakeholders and experts from other projects within the grant scheme Mission-driven Research Development and Innovation (MOOI). The project is financially supported by the Energy Top Sector of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate through the MOOI 'Built Environment' scheme.

Project Team:

Nanda Kishor Panda

Dr. Pedro Vergara Barrios

Dr. Simon Tindemans

N.K Panda

Nanda Kishor Panda joined the IEPG group as a doctoral candidate from September-2021. He has completed his masters from the Eindhoven University of Technology, specializing in electrical energy systems, in 2021. Before it, he completed his bachelors in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Vellore Institute of Technology, India. During his master's thesis, he designed power electronics-based DC substations to upgrade the Netherlands' 1.5 kV traction network into a 3 kV bidirectional traction network. The work was in collaboration with DNV under their innovation project framework. During his bachelors, he has worked on topics related to IoT and automation for Delta Electronics Pvt Ltd. and Johnson Controls Pvt. Ltd. For his PhD, Nanda is working on quantifying flexibility at the regional grid level with a special focus on EV charging infrastructure. Nanda's research interests include power system optimization,  analysis and control, smart grids and demand-side management for distributed renewable energy sources.

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