Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, all Consortium Partners decided to extend Holisder project until February 2021. This way all the Partners will be able to implement new solutions within the demand-response optimization framework as planned and demonstrate them through diverse seasons which will add value to the project’s results.
Project progress was analysed by the Consortium Partners including the situation in each pilot site (Finland, UK, Greece, Serbia) and the conclusion was that the international situation caused by the global lockdown implied the slowdown or the incapacity on progressing on some task while partners mobility was limited (in particular activities that required physical presence in the pilot buildings like supervising deployed equipment and/or deploying additional one, meeting end-users or organizing workshops), making impossible to achieve all actions planned in the demonstration pilots. In addition, these constraints also affected transversal activities like dissemination & communication, and standardization promotion, with changes in conferences and event dates. All these motivated the 6 months project extension until March 2021.
On the other hand, during the spring 2020 lockdown the consortium focused the efforts on progressing on the technical developments, upgrading some of the functionalities on the HOLISDER’s holistic demand-response optimization framework, and finetuning the DR validation scenarios in the pilot sites based on first results and inputs received from end-users. Partners also took the opportunity of preparing scientific publications on journals and planning promotional activities in online conferences once they were rescheduled for autumn, like ICEER 2020 and Sustainable Places 2020. Also, on the exploitation aspects of the components, partners progressed on the business innovation planning and on IPR protecting actions like software registration.
Once all, project partners and pilots’ end-users, got used to the new situation and restrictions got reduced demonstration activities restarted along summer: pre-pilot verification of HOLISDER components in TECNALIA’s KUBIK lab-building could be activated and followed-up remotely, while other individual tests in technical partner’s premises; ongoing validation scenarios in tertiary pilot buildings generated non-relevant data, while they were unoccupied and/or during the summer period, and in autumn are becoming interesting again. On the other hand, the residential pilot sites had higher occupancy rates and the data generated on these scenarios are already being analysed by project technical partners. In summary and considering that some pilot sites are focused on the heating season (i.e. DH customers in Belgrade), the last 6 months of the project look exciting and promising!