IREN urban and rural Validation Cases in DATA CELLAR to foster decarbonisation

iren VCs

Iren is one of the largest and most dynamic multiutility companies in Italy, operating primarily in a multi-regional area in the Northwest of the country. Iren employs more than 10,000 people and provides a portfolio of services in the energy sector (over 2.2 million customers), integrated water sector (over 2.9 million customers), and waste cycle sector (about 3.8 million customers). Iren operates in many areas including the generation of electricity (using gas turbines, hydro-plants, and renewables); the distribution and sale of gas and electricity; and the production, distribution, and sale of thermal energy for district heating. It also manages grids and provides integrated water services and environmental and technological services, as well as it provides smart city and public services and energy-saving solutions. Iren is an industrial holding company and operates mainly through its four business units: Iren Energia, Ireti, Iren Mercato, and Iren Ambiente.

Iren is the first operator in Italy in the district heating sector for thermal energy, with over 1,000 km of network managed (including the Turin network which is the largest in Italy) and a heated volume of about 100 million m3.  With over 20,000 km of aqueducts managed, the company is the third operator in Italy in the water services sector for the number of cubic meters treated. Moreover, it is third in the waste management and environmental services sector for the quantity of waste treated (over 3 billion tons), fifth in the gas sector for the amount of gas sold to end customers, and fifth in the electricity sector for the amount of electricity sold.

With a clear vision towards decarbonization goals, Iren aims to become a national leader for the energy transition and supports the development of renewable energy communities in all the territories in which it operates.

Which is the role of Iren in DATA CELLAR?

In the framework of the Horizon Europe DATA CELLAR project, together with its affiliates Iren Mercato and Iren Smart Solutions, Iren brings two validation cases in Italy:

The Leap Factory Energy community is a prospective rural/extra-urban Energy Community located in Chamois, a village in the Valle d’Aosta region. This energy community consists of 3 high-efficiency prosumer single-family houses, mainly used as second homes, and the adjacent restaurant as an additional consumer member. Respectively 1.32 kWp, 4.56 kWp, and 2.28 kWp PV systems have been installed as RES assets over each prosumer housing unit.

The Lingotto Energy Community is a prospective urban Energy Community located in an important mall of Turin, in the Piedmont region. It will comprise some of the mall’s stores and a shared Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) facility. Renewable electricity will be fed by 300 kWp of PV systems installed on the rooftop of two outdoor walkways of the shopping mall.

For both validation cases, Iren will make available to the project all the information on renewable energy production assets of the energy communities, as well as the operational data monitored in real time.

Why is Iren important for the DATA CELLAR project?

The main expected benefit from DATA CELLAR is the possibility to discuss with other European peers the topic of Energy Communities (ECs) to:

  • Build a benchmark of best-practices
  • Investigate development trends for the application of the EU REDII legislation
  • Develop innovative business models/services for ECs
  • Identify areas for potential improvement of ECs management
  • Explore the potential of monitoring and control technologies for energy consumption/production in ECs

In these areas, DATA CELLAR could contribute with:

  • Weather forecasting tools
  • Centralized energy consumption database
  • Benchmarking against similar EC in terms of self-consumption, flexibility, and energy savings identifying areas for potential improvement
  • Data for Electricity Spot-Price from other EU members
  • Dynamic tools for EC planning and optimization


Read all the Validation Cases here.