PLATOON: Digitalising the energy sector

with disruptive technologies

November 21, 2022

PLATOON (Digital PLAtform and analytical TOOls for eNergy) is a project funded by the EU's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme. Its slogan, ‘Digitalising the energy sector with disruptive technologies’, neatly sums up its core aim. However, the aspirational goal is for PLATOON to support the development of new services in the energy domain and the transition to zero-carbon, while modernising the European electricity grid and offering cheaper and more sustainable energy to consumers.


To achieve this, the project has five core objectives:


Objective 1: To define and promote a COSMAG-compliant reference architecture.


Objective 2: To design and develop an open, vendor-independent data governance scheme based on IDS (International Data Space) principles which guarantees data sovereignty and privacy for all the stakeholders.


Objective 3: To develop a specific interoperability layer that enables heterogeneous, bulky and high-speed data transfer from the pilots to the PLATOON platform.


Objective 4: To develop, deploy, integrate and validate a data analytics toolbox than can easily be used by energy experts and customised to solve the specific needs of the energy infrastructure’s operators and data owners.


Objective 5: To design and implement local real-time processing capabilities in the edge to provide local smartness and alleviate the data transfer to the PLATOON components deployed in the cloud.


Promoting Innovation and Societal and Environmental Sustainability


Beyond its basic remit, it’s hoped that the open and standardised nature of the PLATOON reference architecture will allow the consortium members and interested third parties to develop products and services based on the project results.


It will also support the EU’s strategies for tackling climate change through resource-efficient low-carbon solutions, thanks to the introduction of smart grids and the optimisation of the whole energy value chain, maximising resources while reducing waste and cost. Some of the highly desirable ‘side-effects’ of this will be PLATOON’s contributions to economic growth, the creation of high-tech and skilled jobs, and the reduction of social inequality in the EU, promoting citizen’s participation in the energy system.




Members of the PLATOON consortium gather during the project kick-off meeting in Paris, January 2020


Participants in the project are: ENGIE, TECNALIA Research and Innovation, University of Bonn, Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems (IAIS), Engineering, University of Brussels (VUB) with its OWI-Lab, Institute Mihajlo Pupin, Giroa as member of VEOLIA Group, SISTEPLANT, SAMPOL Ingeniería y Obras S.A., TIB – Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology, Politecnico di Milano, the Municipality of Rome, Poste Italiane, Mandat International, FundingBox Accelerator (FBA), Minsait (an Indra company), ComSensus, the Basque Energy Cluster (CEPV) and UDG Alliance.


PLATOON’s Areas of Experimentation


The energy industry is complex and currently very centralised. PLATOON provides new approaches and analytics tools for Energy Big Data, enabling a transition to a more distributed sector with intermittent renewable energy sources and new extended digital capabilities.


The platform’s experimentation areas are:


Data governance, security, privacy and sovereignty


IDS (International Data Spaces) divides data into spaces facilitating specialisation and creating a distributed data network. Data integrity, encryption and security of communications are challenges to be solved. In addition, current data protection legislation (GDPR) must be complied with.


Digital interoperability


Developing simple yet agile solutions to facilitate the interoperability of a growing number of highly specialised and decentralised systems. To achieve this, the semantic approach, structuring the information into semantic data models (ontologies: formal representation of linked concepts), has proved very successful in IoT. There is also a need to develop the APIs and open technologies that are standard in other sectors.


Data Analytics applications in energy


This includes physics-based, data-driven or hybrid models based on Machine Learning applied to:


Predictive maintenance


Development of analytical models to anticipate the behaviour of a system. They can be used for tasks such as:


  • sending alerts for potential critical situations in sufficient time to ensure they can be prevented
  • optimising resource use to generate savings
  • developing maintenance models for energy elements.


Demand forecast and energy usage optimisation


This includes:


  • development of energy demand models for forecasting and optimisation of resource use
  • the transfer of models from other domains and methods to verify their validity, including Big Data solutions and AI approaches.


Edge computing (SW/HW)


This involves the development of software and hardware solutions for data processing in the devices connected to the system, e.g., sensors, intelligent gateways, etc.


PLATOON’s Open Calls


PLATOON’s operational model was to distribute up to €2M among 13 disruptive projects selected through two Open Calls.


1st Open Call


The project’s first open call closed in March 2021. 6 SMEs were chosen to develop and/or extend different components of the PLATOON reference architecture, implementing and validating their solutions in PLATOON’s large-scale pilots. They each received access to up to €150,000 in funding per project as well as an invitation to join the first Technology Transfer Programme, a nine-month-long business and technical support initiative which began at the start of July 2021.


2nd Open Call


PLATOON’s second open call closed in December 2021, with the evaluation and selection completed in March 2022. Seven SMEs have been chosen to extend their existing products/services by integrating them into the PLATOON ecosystem (by adopting the developed common reference architecture, data models, APIs, docker Specification etc) and validating them in PLATOON’s large-scale pilots. They too have gained access to €150,000 of funding each and the Technology Transfer support programme.


The Pilot Projects


 PLATOON’s pilots cover energy services along the entire energy supply chain, such as energy efficiency, electricity balance and predictive maintenance of wind farms, smart cities, buildings and office hubs, with the objective of increasing operation performance with physical models and AI algorithms.


Seven pilot projects, addressing real Energy Big Data case, will be validated in 5 countries: France, Spain, Italy, Belgium and Serbia. They include predictive maintenance in renewables (wind farm), distribution grids efficient operation and assets life extension, efficient end Use of Energy, peak avoidance and demand side response (in a smart building setting, and optimum energy management in a microgrid (linked to the previous services of the other pilots).


The intention is that eventually, the PLATOON marketplace will be a ‘one-stop shop’ offering the services and tools developed as part of PLATOON, alongside additional services from previous projects and some of the datasets used. A ‘freemium’ approach is planned, with a basic free account allowing access to certain datasets and tools, and paid packages that give access to additional premium elements. This should ensure that the marketplace remains of benefit to data owners, data users, and ultimately, energy consumers too.



Find out more by visiting the website of the H2020 PLATOON project:



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