Ignite Stories: Uppsala Municipality & Tvinn

Uppsala Municipality needed to improve its electrical grid capacity to ensure the city could grow and every resident could access power all year round. Together with a group of students, Tvinn developed a new model for a local power market as part of the project CoordiNet.

The electrical supply is insufficient during peak periods – usually cold winter days – when most users need electricity. To combat this problem, Uppsala Municipality is currently building the infrastructure. However these improvements will take up to ten years to complete.

Another challenge for the municipality is that the electricity and power demand in Uppsala is spread over many small electricity users. To trade effectively on the local market, an aggregator is needed to collect the small electricity users to sell power or reduce usage in a collective way.

The municipality aimed to fill this role but it required some kind of interface in order to connect users and monitor their contribution to the power market.

Through the ​​EU project CoordiNet, the Municipality aimed to develop and test local solutions for energy efficiency that address this challenge.

“The project started as a local power market where you can get paid to reduce your use of electricity on those days when the grid is facing constraints,” explains Linnéa Nedar, Process Leader Energy Transition at Uppsala Municipality.

Linnéa Nedar (Uppsala Municipality)

Matchmaking to Find Innovative SolutionsSeminar for the Swedish Automotive Supply Chain

Soon after the project started, Linnéa reached out to the internal Innovation Lab at Uppsala Municipality to find innovative solutions. Firstly, they connected her with a group of students from Uppsala University participating in the initiative Stuns Energy Stories that became responsible for developing a prototype. Thereafter the Lab put her in contact with Ignite Public to find startups with energy solutions for the project.new business models.

“We have been working closely with Uppsala Municipality since 2019. For the past three years, we have helped them solve their challenges with new, innovative technologies and solutions. We established this collaboration with the municipality’s management and grew to include actors throughout the entire organization,” says Ignite Public’s Innovation Leader, Marit Finch Westin.

In April 2021, Linnéa met four startups at Ignite Global Goals, a digital matchmaking event part of that year’s SISP’s annual summit Sveriges Innovationsriksdag.

Portrait Marit Finch Westin
Marit Finch Westin (Ignite Sweden)

“It was really interesting because we got to meet companies that didn’t have the solution already, but CoordiNet is also a new thing so the solutions don’t exist either. We needed to find someone who could create the solution for us or with us,” says Linnea.

One of the startups that the municipality team was matched with was the Uppsala-based company Tvinn, which creates innovative smart energy and charging solutions to help transition to sustainable energy.

“We have been eager to get into the CoordiNet project for quite some time. We created our company and what we are doing now based on this capacity problem and how to find solutions for that, so that’s kind of in the DNA of the company,” says Tvinn’s CEO, Jonas Thyni.

Jonas Thyni (Tvinn) together with Annika Remaeus and Johan Rosén (Uppsala Municipality) with the Ignite Sustainability Heroes Award

From Student Prototype to Rolled Out

After the matchmaking, Linnéa and the Innovation Lab worked together on the feasibility study. After the procurement process, the students’ prototype was put together with Tvinn’s solution. The combined solution was finally launched in the market in November 2021.

The project, winner of the Ignite Sustainability Heroes award 2021, has now been rolled out in Uppsala. The startup and the municipality are currently evaluating future applications for the solution.

“Energy is a hot topic for many Swedish municipalities. It is important that municipalities test and develop new solutions in pilot projects to later scale up what has worked, just as Uppsala has done with this project,” concludes Marit.

Watch Linnéa Nedar (Uppsala Municipality) and Jonas Thyni (Tvinn) talk about their collaboration at Ignite Sweden Days 2021

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