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DC and AC/DC hybrid transmission and distribution systems
Horizon Europe - Cluster 5 - Destination 3: Sustainable, secure and competitive energy supply
Estimated EU contribution per project
Link to the call
Link to the submission
Projects are expected to develop R&I, methodologies and tools regarding DC – AC / DC hybrid system Design & Planning, AC and DC Grid Forming Capability and DC Distribution & microgrids as well as demonstrate, test and validate their developed activities in at least three pilots.
Projects are expected to implement the activities in (1) and the practical demonstration in (2) as described below:
1. R&I, methodologies and tools involving the activities in the three subtopics (A, B and C) listed below. These can be developed/complemented with others pertinent to each sub-topic.
A) DC – AC / DC hybrid system Design & Planning
a. Demonstration of software tools for transnational AC/DC hybrid power system planning and management to enable HVAC/HVDC/MVDC/LVDC hybrid systems, such as:
- integration of multi-terminal HVDC systems, both offshore and onshore and HVDC links embedded within the HVAC network as well as HVDC ties (inter-) connecting different control zones and synchronous areas (in full or in back-to-back schemes);
- representation and modelling of transmission and distribution grids as well as multi-energy vector integration (sector coupling) for long-term and for transient and dynamic analysis.
b. Demonstration of reliability and resilience methodologies to address security and adequacy issues and criteria via not only deterministic but also probabilistic (e.g., Monte-Carlo) methods.
c. Demonstration of developed methodologies and requirements for interoperability among Multi Terminal, Multi-Vendor MVDC and LVDC systems.
B) AC and DC Grid Forming Capability
- Functional requirements and demonstration of grid forming capability for hybrid HV AC/DC networks (e.g., offshore wind, HVDC transmission or multi-terminal HVDC grid, potentially associated with energy storage systems).
- Functional requirements and demonstration of grid forming capability for hybrid MV and LV AC/DC networks (grid connected and islanded operation with distributed energy sources).
- Functional requirements and validation procedure for testing grid-forming capabilities offered by HVDC, MVDC and LVDC systems.
C) DC Distribution & microgrids
- Modelling (steady state and transient models) for systems including different typology of RES, EVs, storage and loads (system architecture, voltage level, control, stability, protection, and storage integration).
- Planning and design of MVDC distribution grids as the intermediate layer between the HVDC and the AC or DC Low Voltage local distribution grid and loads.
- Functional requirements for the AC-DC converters, DC-DC converters, switchgear (including protection equipment) and cables based on the different typologies and power rating applications
2. Demonstration, test and validation of the activities developed in (1) in at least three pilots – one for each sub-topic (A, B and C) – in different EU Member States/Associated Countries.
International cooperation with countries of the Mediterranean Region is encouraged.
Project results are expected to contribute to all the following outcomes:
- Demonstrated top-down electricity system orchestration of future pan-European AC / DC hybrid system architecture - including offshore grid and energy islands - at different voltage levels (HVDC, MVDC, LVDC) down to DC microgrids.
- Developed methodologies for operational planning and design of DC and AC / DC hybrid systems, considering all possible sources, loads and storage, from high-voltage transmission level to distribution-connected assets. This includes a cost benefit analysis for stability management options.
- Developed methodologies and requirements for interoperability among Multi Terminal, Multi-Vendor MVDC and LVDC systems.
- Demonstrated technologies to be applied to the energy system to address the gradual loss of inertia caused by the increasing penetration of Power Electronics Interfaced Generators (i.e., RES such as PV, Wind, etc.).
- Demonstrated DC transmission and distribution systems and technologies.
- Components and systems for smart substations.
- Close collaboration among the key grid stakeholders (non-exhaustive list: software developers, system manufacturers, TSOs, third-party system integrators, wind turbine manufacturers, offshore wind farm developers, PV plants, storage systems, etc.).
Regions / countries for funding
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan), Belarus (Беларусь), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина), Faeroes (Føroyar / Færøerne), Georgia (საქართველო), Island (Ísland), Israel (ישראל / إِسْرَائِيل), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Montenegro (Црна Гора), Morocco (المغرب), New Zealand (Aotearoa), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Tunisia (تونس /Tūnis), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна), United Kingdom
Education and training institution, International organization, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
To be eligible for funding, applicants must be established in one of the following countries:
- the Member States of the European Union, including their outermost regions
- the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) linked to the Member States
- third countries associated to Horizon Europe - see list of particpating countries
Only legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes, as beneficiaries, three legal entities independent from each other and each established in a different country as follows:
- at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State; and
- at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.
Any legal entity, regardless of its place of establishment, including legal entities from non-associated third countries or international organisations (including international European research organisations) is eligible to participate (whether it is eligible for funding or not), provided that the conditions laid down in the Horizon Europe Regulation have been met, along with any other conditions laid down in the specific call topic.
A ‘legal entity’ means any natural or legal person created and recognised as such under national law, EU law or international law, which has legal personality and which may, acting in its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations, or an entity without legal personality.
- Affiliated entities — Affiliated entities (i.e. entities with a legal or capital link to a beneficiary which participate in the action with similar rights and obligations to the beneficiaries, but which do not sign the grant agreement and therefore do not become beneficiaries themselves) are allowed, if they are eligible for participation and funding.
- Associated partners — Associated partners (i.e. entities which participate in the action without signing the grant agreement, and without the right to charge costs or claim contributions) are allowed, subject to any conditions regarding associated partners set out in the specific call conditions.
- Entities without legal personality — Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guarantees to protect the EU’s financial interests equivalent to those offered by legal persons.
- EU bodies — Legal entities created under EU law including decentralised agencies may be part of the consortium, unless provided for otherwise in their basic act.
- Joint Research Centre (‘JRC’)— Where provided for in the specific call conditions, applicants may include in their proposals the possible contribution of the JRC but the JRC will not participate in the preparation and submission of the proposal. Applicants will indicate the contribution that the JRC could bring to the project based on the scope of the topic text. After the evaluation process, the JRC and the consortium selected for funding may come to an agreement on the specific terms of the participation of the JRC. If an agreement is found, the JRC may accede to the grant agreement as beneficiary requesting zero funding or participate as an associated partner, and would accede to the consortium as a member.
- Associations and interest groupings — Entities composed of members (e.g. European research infrastructure consortia (ERICs)) may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’. However, if the action is in practice implemented by the individual members, those members should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible.
other eligibility criteria
Activities should reach TRL 4-5 by the end of the project.
If projects use satellite-based Earth observation, positioning, navigation and/or related timing data and services, beneficiaries must use Copernicus and/or Galileo/EGNOS (other data and services may be used in addition).
Relevance for EU Macro-Region
EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region
UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)
All proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funders & Tenders Portal electronic submission system (accessible via the topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section). Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Proposals must be complete and contain all parts and mandatory annexes and supporting documents, e.g. plan for the exploitation and dissemination of the results including communication activities, etc.
The application form will have two parts:
- Part A (to be filled in directly online) contains administrative information about the applicant organisations (future coordinator and beneficiaries and affiliated entities), the summarised budget for the proposal and call-specific questions;
- Part B (to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system) contains the technical description of the project.
Annexes and supporting documents will be directly available in the submission system and must be uploaded as PDF files (or other formats allowed by the system).
The limit for a full application (Part B) is 45 pages.