PKP Energetyka and Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking signed a partnership agreement to develop projects worth EUR 3.4 million until 2026 and until 2031, other EUR 5.6 million projects are expected to be implemented.
The partnership provides co-financing from the European Commission throughout the Horizon Europe financial perspective. This guarantees the possibility of implementing research and development works, for which the total level of eligible costs is almost EUR 20.1 million. These funds will be successively launched in three competitions, implemented in the years 2022-2031. For its projects worth EUR 9 million, PKP Energetyka will receive co-financing of up to 44.5% of the project amount.
As part of the project, PKP Energetyka is responsible mainly for the use of energy storage facilities in the railway ecosystem, both in terms of increasing the possibility of connecting RES sources and supplying the railway with green energy in a direct manner. In addition, the objective will be to use storage facilities so as to enable the construction and existence of communities (clusters, cooperatives, hubs, local balancing areas, etc.) by the railway that will benefit from green energy and the opportunities provided by the railway.
“One of the planned demonstrators is to confirm the possibility of increasing the connection capacity for RES sources in the distribution network of PKP Energetyka using energy storage facilities. The second is to verify the possibility of cooperation between energy storage facilities and other elements of the power system on an ‘energy hub’ basis, thus reducing grid losses and increasing the energy efficiency of the electricity generation, distribution and consumption process. Together with the energy storage facility in Garbce, which has already been in operation for two years, subsequently built storage facilities will form the basis for the construction of about 300 profiled and customized ecosystems of this kind in Poland” Piotr Obrycki, director of the Research and Development Office at PKP Energetyka said.
The objective of projects which PKP Energetyka is responsible for includes, among others, the verification of an energy storage model based on the ideas of local cooperation between consumers and generating entities, construction of assumptions and participation in the development of algorithms for the model, or launch of demonstrators working in the distribution network of PKP Energetyka, aimed at increasing the RES generation capacity and improving the efficiency of local energy use.
Between 2023 and 2024, the work schedule covers the design of domain algorithms for energy storage facilities and infrastructure, design of the energy management system and preparation of requirements and order energy storage units. From 2025 to 2026 will take place the construction and commissioning of demonstrators in the environment of two traction substations, will be carried out analyses and tests of the solution and will be acquired the data from the operation of demonstrators for the purposes of follow-up simulations.
All these tasks will be carried out in cooperation with Poznan University of Technology, the Railway Institute and the Institute of Innovative Technologies EMAG, with ongoing cooperation also with foreign partners.
The works which are being started presently also assume the development of standards for the interface of hydrogen refueling of rail vehicles and ensuring the safety of the process.
Preparatory works to build the Polish ecosystem within Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking lasted two years. On January 18, 2023, an opening meeting was held, at which 17 companies and organisations signed the declaration of partnership in the presence of, among others, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of State Assets, Maciej Małecki, the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Education and Science, Wojciech Murdzek, President of PKP S.A., Krzysztof Mamiński, as well as deans and professors of scientific establishments.