Integrated Community Energy Systems (ICESs) are emerging as a modern development to re-organize the local energy systems allowing integration of distributed energy resources (DERs) and engagement of local communities. Although local energy initiatives such as ICESs are rapidly emerging, assessment and evaluation are still lacking on the value these systems can provide both to the local communities as well as to the whole energy system. In this paper, we present a framework to assess the value of ICESs for local communities. We apply this framework to assess the value of ICES in Spain. For a block of 10 households, investments and operations of DERs together with local exchange is simulated in DER-CAM model. For the considered community size and local conditions, ICESs are beneficial to the alternative of solely being supplied from the grid. An ICES that gets remunerated the excess energy to the grid has higher benefits than the system where energy exports are not remunerated as currently in Spain.
Keywords: Distributed Energy Resources, Energy Communities, Smart Grids, Multi-carrier Energy Systems
Published: June 2016.