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The UIA Secretariat organised a series of interviews with the projects selected under the topic "Energy Transition". What is the most innovative elements of their project towards energy transition? What are the main changes they are expecting? What are the main challenges they are confronted with? Read the answers from CoRDEES project in Paris!

We interviewed Melanie Van Waveren, who has been Development Director at Paris Batignolles Aménagement since 2010. She has been oervseeing the urban and architectural design of the Clichy-Batignolles project, trying to change the codes of urban developing. She tells us about the CoRDEES project.

Why did your city decide to apply under Urban Innovative Actions?

After the delivery of the East side of the district Clichy-Batignolles, Paris Batignolles Aménagement drove an expertise of the heating network in order to figure out the real energy efficiency of the buildings. We discovered important drifts between the theoretical performances contractualized with the real estate developers and the real performances when the buildings are occupied. On the one hand, this verdict can be linked to the gap existing between the conception and the implementation of the energy facilities. On the other hand, the overconsumption of the energy by the end-users contributes to deteriorate the performances of the buildings.  This study brought out that the financial and contractual solutions implemented up to now to reach the environmental ambition of the district show their limits. Focusing on the performance objectives carried by the City of Paris to Clichy-Batignolles, Paris Batignolles Aménagement engaged a thinking group about new ways to manage energy at the scale of a district. This working group gathered public and private energy specialists and brought to contribute to the strategy of the City of Paris “Smart and Sustainable City”. In the course of this work, emerged for Clichy-Batignolles an innovative project of smart-grids with a one of a kind governance: the “CoResponsability in District Energy Efficiency and Sustainability”. The consortium formed around the leadership of the City of Paris and composed of the urban developer, a public lab and two start-ups specialized in smart-grids and sustainable projects, decided to apply to the Urban Innovative Action. This application has strongly guided the operational design of this project. It led the consortium to translate the ambition of the project into an action plan distributed to the 3 years of the project. Considering the nature of the partners (start-up, public lab and public structures), the consortium did not own enough financial resources to develop this kind of experimental project. Thus the subsidies offered by the UIA represented a great opportunity for the consortium to find out and to launch the business model of this new energy ecosystem.

What do you consider to be the most innovative element of your project towards energy transition?

The project CoRDEES plans to combine three main solutions brought together by a new energy manager, the Urban Sustainability Trustee Facilitator (USFT):

  • The New Deal Energetic, a new governance and contracting scheme for energy efficiency, based on the principle of co-responsibility. This solution foresees a close collaboration between stakeholders, each playing its own part in order to create win-win balances and to contribute more globally to the achievement of the energy objectives of the districts.
  • The Community Energy Management Platform, open to all of the actors of the districts, will monitor, consolidate and analyze in real time energy data for all buildings, public facilities. It will be able to detect the drifts and suggest optimization scenarios.
  • New digital and “field” Services for energy efficiency. They will accompany stakeholders and target groups to ensure energy efficiency targets and end-users empowerment.

In my opinion, contrary to what we could think at first glance, the innovative character of this project does not reside in the technical aspects of the smart-grids (already experienced in other districts) but in the New Deal Energetic. Indeed, it appears to be a real progress in the field of urban development throughout the implementation of a commitment chain for the rational energy management at the scale of a large district. Before the project CoRDEES, the energy efficiency of the building was contractualized for the conception and implementation phases relying on theoretical system modelings. The challenge of the project is to move from theoretical performances commitment with real estate developer to real performances commitment with all the actors of the energy chain, from the energy providers to the end-users passing by the building developers. It aims to be a real innovation because of the diversity of the energy actors and end-users involved, the functional mix of the district and the set up of a new collaborative framework.

What are the main changes that you expect to achieve in your municipality with this project?

The environmental ambition of Clichy-Batignolles was conceived to go much further than the objectives of the Energy Master Plan assigned for the rest of the city. In fact, the creation of such an important district in Paris (54 ha) appeared to be an opportunity to contribute more globally to the achievement of the energy transition goals of the city.

If in reality the energy efficiency of the buildings of Clichy-Batignolles remains below the consumption thresholds laid down in the Energy Master Plan, it is not enough to accomplish the exemplarity ambition of the district. By implementing new ways to manage energy throughout the life of the district, the project CoRDEES is about to bring us achieve the energy objectives of Clichy-Batignolles and then to contribute to the energy balance of the City as it was planned.

To some extent, the solution developed in CoRDEES will help to reach several targets:

  • The CEMP development in Clichy-Batignolles will pave the way for the Paris’ Scheme Manager for Digital City. It will be very helpful to improve the digital services for citizens and for public administrations, to develop ICT in order to improve urban management, to foster democratic participation and to enable new services through open data.
  • The holistic innovation implemented in CORDEES project is bringing us to experience more inclusive ways to develop urban project. The retrofitting of Saint Vincent-de-Paul (Paris 14°) will probably be the first project to benefit from the lessons learned in Clichy-Batignolles.

After 6 months of implementation, can you tell us where you are with the project and what are the main challenges you are/expect to be confronted to?

The meeting on 21st March was the first highlight of the CoRDEES project. It let us reaffirm the ambition of the solutions and present the framework of the project for the year coming. After this meeting we started on two main implementation works. We organized in the same time a large consultation process of the stakeholders under bilateral talks and a working group with the members of the consortium. In a hand we intended to specify the monitoring indicators and sensors implementation needed to develop the solutions. In another hand, we precised with the stakeholders the level of the existing instrumentation and the constraints imposed by the specific features of each building program. In fact, every week, we collegially received the stakeholders involved in each building program. These meetings let us appreciate to which extent the stakeholders are ready to take part in the New Deal Energetic. The outcome of these meetings was that we have been able to pinpoint the instrumentation needed to set up the smart-grids. We are currently about to complete the public procurement for the deployment of the smart-grids in Clichy-Batignolles. We will be able to start the implementation of the smart-grids from September 2017 but our interventions will be fixed regarding to the schedule of the buildings' delivery in order to avoid causing any temporary embarrassment.

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