Since September, a new batch of inhabitants is slowly taking residence in the finished buildings of the second building phase at the pilot site of De Nieuwe Dokken. In addition to the 90 families and SMEs that have been located in the Faar and Dek buildings for two years already, another 80 families will soon find their homes in Pergola, Bijoux or Dubbeltuupe.

This is good news for the pilot: a larger number of pilot participants means that both the local water treatment and the district heating network will be working more efficiently. The new buildings also come with additional charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, opening up opportunities to gather data and research the flexibility potential that comes with the charging of electric vehicles. Project partner IMec will be using pilot data to build models and develop control strategies that will leverage this flexibility to the benefit of the community.

In addition to providing heat to more inhabitants, the district heating network will, in fall 2022, be extended with a CHP-installation, installed at the nearby company that already provides part of the heat in the network. The consequence of this will likely be the creation of flexibility in the operation of the district-level heat pump, an aspect that project partner Centrica will be researching. 

And, last but not least, more inhabitants means more feedback for pilot operator DuCoop, a cooperative actor that provides sustainability services (including heat through the district heating network) in the whole district. On October 1st, a second ’energy community working group’ meeting was held, where pilot residents were informed about the operation of the district heating network, but more importantly, where they could give feedback on what they find important in DuCoops services provision. DuCoop will now be taking up this feedback to design an accepted demand response strategy. Proper consumer engagement!