The schools collected a lot of unusable energy through their solar panels during weekends and school holidays. Credit: Wikicommons

Two Brussels schools are taking part in a test project by the Brussels government to re-distribute their surplus green energy among local residents.

The two schools, ‘Nos Bambins’ in Ganshoren and the Sint-Augustinusschool in Forest, have collected a lot of unusable energy through their solar panels during weekends and school holidays, but the surpluses were always lost as there is no means to store them.

However, if the energy surpluses are redistributed immediately, they can meet the energy needs of residents in the neighbourhood. Sibelga, the distribution system operator in the Brussels Region, has now installed smart energy meters in the school buildings to make this possible, reports Le Soir.

Like regular energy meters, the smart meters record the consumed energy, but they also determine when the energy that comes in no longer immediately goes out. Sibelga can then re-distribute that energy over the rest of the network.

The Brussels government calls this method ‘collective self-consumption’. “It is a financial advantage for everyone in the energy chain, from the producer to the network operator, and for the consumer in particular,” said Pascal Misselyn of Brussels energy regulator Brugel, reports Bruzz.

The price for the ‘surplus’ green energy will be about 10 to 25% lower than for the energy that comes from a private distributor, according to Misselyn. However, the transporting of the energy and the network maintenance still costs money, as will the processing of the data.

“At the moment, 4% of our energy production is renewable energy, and we have to get it up to 8% to reach the Paris climate goals. That means it is important to not only depend on Flanders and Wallonia, but to do our part as a Region as well,” he added.

The pilot project launched soon. The intention is for both institutions and individuals to offer themselves to energy regulator Brugel as consumers or producers, thus creating local energy communities.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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