A blockchain-based configuration for balancing the electricity grid with distributed assets

Tarek Alskaif*, Bart Holthuizen, Wouter Schram, Ioannis Lampropoulos, Wilfried Van Sark

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores a future perspective to foster the provision of balancing services to the electricity grid by distributed assets. One recent test case, initiated by the Dutch Transmission System Operator (TSO), was to operate an Electric Vehicle (EV) fleet on the automatic Frequency Restoration Reserve (aFRR) market, which entails fast and automated reserves. To achieve that in a decentralised, automated and transparent manner, the role of blockchain technology for this specific application is explored. We propose a novel configuration that can serve as a basis for deploying distributed assets for aFRR markets using blockchain or any alternative Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). Automation can be achieved via the deployment of smart contracts, which also results in transparency in the system. The blockchain configurations are designed for three phases in the aFRR market, namely: (i) Operational planning and scheduling by a balancing service provider (i.e., formulation and submission of aFRR bid), (ii) Real-time operations (i.e., activation and measurements), and (iii) Verification and settlement (i.e., imbalance correction and financial settlement). The paper concludes that the scalability of distributed assets that can participate in the system, combined with the large transaction times and energy consumption of some consensus mechanisms, could put limitations on the proposed architecture. Future research should address benchmarking studies of other alternatives (e.g., DLTs, such as the ones based on directed acyclic graphs, and non-DLT solutions) with the proposed blockchain solution.
Original languageEnglish
Article number62
Number of pages17
JournalWorld Electric Vehicle Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020


  • Automatic frequency restoration reserve
  • Balancing market
  • Blockchain
  • Demand side management
  • Distributed assets
  • Electric vehicles
  • Flexibility


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