The MAESHA Project

MAESHA is a European project with 21 partners that received 8.9 million euros from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme out of a total budget of 11.8 million euros.

Start - November 2020

End - October 2024



The main objective of MAESHA is to decarbonise the energy systems of geographical islands by fostering the large deployment of RES through the installation of tailored innovative flexibility services based on a close study and modelling of local energy systems and community structures. MAESHA will demonstrate the solutions on the French overseas island of Mayotte and study replicability potential on 5 follower islands representing more than 1.2 million inhabitants spread in geographical Europe and overseas territories.

What are the main objectives?

Develop an innovative smart platform aggregating multiple flexibility services to provide flexibility for the stabilisation of the electricity grid on islands.

This platform will provide flexibility for the stabilisation of the electricity grid on islands. It will manage on different scales several technologies installed during MAESHA and reinforced on a longer term, such as demand-response flexibility from industrials, decentralised RES plants and residential consumers, storage, heat and cold networks, charging points for e-mobility… The number of flexibility solutions developed or the decrease in the proportion of fossil fuels-based back-up will provide insights on the success of this objective.

Reach up to 70 to 100% of RE penetration with close collaboration between Local Energy utilities, communities, modellers and flexibility solutions providers.

The necessary grid structure to handle this rate will be determined by energy system modelling activities done based on and enriched by permanent exchanges with local population and stakeholders, to meet the needs and comply the environment of Mayotte. The main indicator related to this objective is the RES penetration possible in the electricity mix.

Create synergies between electricity and other networks.

The control of electricity/heat/cold production and systems, with for instance cogeneration with small biomass networks, together with the development of Vehicle-to-Grid solutions, will help reducing the GHG emissions of sectors currently decorrelated of the electric grid.

Activate and involve local communities for better ownership and acceptance of energy transition.

MAESHA will raise awareness about the transition to the Mahoran inhabitants and map their experiences and expectations. New participating business models will give keys to the population to get an active role in their island’s energy transition.

Demonstrate at full-scale level the global solution on the island of Mayotte.

The solutions coming from the preliminary studies and discussions with Mahoran people will lead to an implementation from the 30th month of the project. It will eventually significantly reduce the total use of fossil fuels in Mayotte, and especially decarbonize the electricity sector (-30% GHG emissions).

Ensure the replicability of the solutions developed though the follower islands.

Five following islands – Wallis et Futuna (Pacific Ocean, FR), Saint-Barthélémy (Caribe, FR), Gran Canaria (Canarias, ES), Gozo (MT), Favignana (Sicily, IT) – are part of the project and the replicability potential of all or part of the demonstrated solutions in Mayotte will be assessed for these follower islands’ specific contexts.

Create a publicly available toolkit and a user-manual for wide replicability to give perspective to the project beyond the follower islands.

The aforementioned replicability study will further lead to a guide and toolkit providing insight to other islands aiming at decarbonizing their energy systems. Information on the activities of MAESHA as well as keys on how to transpose them to other specific contexts and software to help island decision-makers will be embodied in it.


Virtual power plant

Centralized management of plants: Optimised clustering and dispatching of production to meet the balancing requirements.

Collective self-consumption / Energy communities

Decentralization of renewable energy production and empowerment of citizens.

Industrial Energy Management

Switch to local generator or shift activities for few hours to relieve the power grid.

Residential Energy and flexibility services

Use capacity of residential consumers/products to adapt their electricity consumption profile.

Smart Charging/V2G

Vehicle-to-grid(V2G) and bidirectional power flow from EV batteries to unlock an important new source of flexibility for the islands.

PV production for EV charging

Higher levels of solar self-consumption for lower emissions in the transport sector.

Technologies to provide virtual inertia

Technologies to improve power grid stability.

Short-term Battery Storage

Efficient way of storing energy from the grid.

Power to Hydrogen

Hydrogen storage will mitigate the impact of seasonal variations in production and demand through long-term energy storage.



Work Packages

WP1: Study case and requirements, system architecture, led by TRIALOG

The purpose of this WP is to perform the preliminary work required before the development of the solution and its demonstration. It will mainly include the definition of the use-cases, the related requirements, the definition of specific relevant KPIs, the design of the architecture, the definition of the data handling and processing approach (needs, collection and consolidation), and the set-up of an interoperability-by-design framework. All this work will contribute to define the orientation of the subsequent work package, in particular the solution development (WP5, WP6 and WP7) and the solution demonstration (WP9 and WP10).

WP2: Modelling of energy systems and performance forecasting, led by E3M

This WP is dedicated to the development and adaptation of technical energy system modelling tools needed for the project based on the development and evaluation of existing simulation and modelling software (widely used for energy system planning). It will lead to the creation of an island-scale economy-energy-environment modelling software to be used by partners and local authorities to explore low-carbon medium and long-term energy transition strategies. The WP will provide modelling software capturing both medium and long-term challenges and transitions (developed by E3M) as well as short-term forecasting of energy supply and demand and real-time operation of islands’ grids (led by HIVE and TUB).

WP3: User-centred approach for Local Energy Communities, led by HUD

The objective of this WP is to tailor the developed technical solutions to the local socio-economic context to ensure their successful adoption. The social, cultural and economic conditions on Mayotte will be studied and a technologically, economically and socially optimal energy system topology as well as decarbonisation pathway for the island will be developed. Beyond study and analysis, community activation and training activities will be carried out to include local communities to shape the energy transition on both consumer and producer sides.

WP4: Energy markets for geographical islands and associated tailored business models, led by TUB

This work package will ensure the commercial viability of the project and determine the business models and costs implication of the developed solutions by setting up an underlying market design and business models for the different market players, aligning the solutions with the local regulatory framework and providing policy and regulatory recommendations for an efficient market uptake in islands.

WP5: Energy Management Systems to enhance the grid flexibility, led by CENTRICA

Due to the specific characteristics of geographical islands (weak or no mainland grid connection, low system inertia, high potential for variable renewables, high energy costs, etc.) the need for assessing flexibility requirements on islands is high.
The general objective of this WP is to design flexibility services that can be offered according to the market design of WP4, specifically tailored towards the reality of geographical islands. The involved partners will specifically aim at involving the flexibility from the demand and the supply side, both from residential and industrial customers for demand response as well as involve flexibility services by renewables. The following specific objectives can be derived:

  • Develop a Virtual Power Plant to aggregate RE production of small units and facilitate their management
  • Develop technologies and services (e.g. synthetic inertia) to ensure grid stability and power quality
  • Develop tools for LEC such as collective self-consumption
  • Investigate the opportunities, incentives, feasible assets, required tools and market design compatibility of residential demand response
  • Investigate the opportunities, incentives, feasible assets, required tools and market design compatibility of industrial demand response
WP6: Additional flexibility through networks synergies improvement and storage, led by COBRA

This WP aims at developing solutions able to provide additional flexibility to the grid thanks to networks’ synergies improvement and storage systems. Different vectors will be used:

  • Smart management of EVs charging stations and V2G solutions
  • Hybridization of charging stations and PV plants
  • Complete storage systems based on batteries for frequency and voltage control
  • Long-term storage based on hydrogen production
WP7: Communication and control Platform development, led by CGRID

The overall objective of this work package is to deploy a utility-scale Control Platform, that will enable efficient management of various flexibilities aggregated by different systems throughout the island. Their utilization and monetization will be based on the island distribution grid operational needs and requirements. These will be achieved by defining data management and cybersecurity concepts, followed by deployments of aggregation toolbox for connection to local devices and systems, management and trading platform.

WP8: Systems integration and validation, led by CREARA

The main objective of WP8 is to supervise the integration across all solutions and innovative prototypes. Solutions, which are developed in WP5, 6 and 7, are integrated before being shipped to demonstration sites to be installed. WP8 uses defined overarching architecture from WP1, also taking into account specific requirements from the demonstration cases. The main objectives of WP8 are:

  • Further define integrated system architecture from WP1
  • Specify requirements towards interfaces between different building blocks
  • Coordinate integration activities, linking WP5, WP6 and WP7 into integrated solution
  • Implement testing procedure, consisting of unit testing, laboratory prototype testing, factory acceptance testing (FAT), site acceptance testing (SAT) and coordinate transfer of the system into real environment

WP8 will coordinate the deployment of complete system in the specific demonstration site environment. It will follow an equal top-down and bottom-up approach, taking into account both the functional capabilities of the developed solutions and the technical requirements and constraints of individual demonstration cases as instances of customised application of the integrated system. The final objective of WP8 is to enable smooth implementation and proper operation of systems installed within the demonstration WP9.

WP9: Demonstration on Mayotte, led by EDM

The objective of this WP is to physically implement all the solutions developed by the partners in the previous work packages on the islands of Mayotte. To this end, the main areas of focus for this specific work package will be the following:

  • Deployment of the communication and control platform combined with innovative flexibility solutions
  • Modelling and forecasting of the energy supply and demand
  • Synergies between different energy networks especially the electrical grid and the transportation and mobility networks

Once the system will be integrated on the island, an important phase will be the collection and data analysis in order to determine the efficiency of the solution deployed compared to the simulations. The demonstration in Mayotte will allow to test the solutions and to improve them before duplicating them on the other islands. Then, it will make it possible to analyse the impacts and give some recommendations to optimise the use and the management of the system.

WP10: Replicability study for follower islands and expansion to more islands, led by E3M

The objective of this WP is to provide expert support to selected follower islands for the elaboration of their medium and long-term energy transition plans, from the initial screening of their energy situation to the analysis of cost-efficient transition strategies and the development of a comprehensive scalability and replicability analysis. These plans will mainly address the energy systems and namely energy and electricity production, storage, flexibility options and energy efficiency of demand sectors (i.e. buildings, industries), transport issues, and the associated funding. The environmental, social and macro-economic assessments will also be integrated in the plans. In this framework, the project MAESHA will provide the islands common templates, user manual and methodological guidelines to define their initial state of play, set up territorial transition strategies and identify detailed strategic energy transition plans.

WP11: Communication, dissemination & exploitation of the results, led by EQY

Communication around the project and dissemination of the solutions are key to the success to the project and the sustainability of the solutions developed. This work package focuses on the communication and dissemination of the results, aiming for a strong exploitation after the life of the project. Tailored activities will be planned to specifically reach the right target public. This work package details the work to be done to establish in detail the strategy as well as put it into practice. Moreover, detailed exploitation strategy will be developed to support the commercial interests of project partners. Last, synergies with other ongoing initiatives and projects will be made, with a particular focus on similar EU projects and initiatives.

WP12: Project Management, led by TUB

The objective of this WP is the overall coordination, the administrative, financial and contractual management of the MAESHA project in order to ensure effective and efficient processes within the project and on the same time minimising (as much as possible) administrative overhead within all activities leading to the smooth realisation of MAESHA goals. Activities of the management include the coordination of technical activities and progress monitoring according to the work-plan, timely reporting and providing of other required information to the European Commission, coordination of the delivery of all reports and deliverables, organization of risk management and introduction of preventive actions and the organization of meetings of the General Assembly.

Expected Impacts


Reducing significantly fossil fuel consumption, by developing renewable energy – based systems (including heating and cooling and storage) that allow the island to go towards full decarbonisation goals in a shorter time frame, using: (1) Energy systems modelling, (2) user-based approach and (3) technical deployment.


Allowing large-scale uptake of validated solutions on the same geographical island and/or on other geographical islands with similar problems.


Facilitating the creation and/or increasing the number of renewable energy communities.


Enhancing stability of the power network for islands that are grid connected or not with the mainland.


Reducing GHG emissions and improve air quality.


Reducing electricity costs and upgrade grid infrastructure.


Influencing positively the economic future of the island (investments, creation of jobs, green tourism).


Enhancing a higher implication of the population for matters related to energy future.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 957843 (MAESHA). This output reflects only the author’s view and the European Union cannot be held responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

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