Rotterdam eNews - Nov. 2019

Connecting the grid


Summer is over, winter is almost here. A good moment to reflect on the harvest of the past months. RUGGEDISED is not a simple project, so good results do not necessarily come easy. On the other hand, when we do achieve good results, we are extra proud and pleased to be able to share some good news in this blog.

Among the good news to share is the fact that our Smart City implementation area is set to host next year's Eurovision Song Contest (read article) and RUGGEDISED partners and affiliates hosting a Dutch Smart City Congress on 11 November. Our Implementation of Smart Solutions is moving well ahead.

Katelien van den Berge, RUGGEDISED project manager, City of Rotterdam

Smart thermal grid

We have achieved significant progress in the development of our Smart Thermal Grid. The backbone is built and future developments can now go on as planned. Having finished building the backbone of the grid, heat and cold can be stored in a layer in the ground, the so called ‘aquifer’, until needed in one of the buildings connected to it.

As a result of this, it is now possible for the event centre Ahoy not to use gas anymore for heating and cooling. A great addition to this will also be the 12.000 m2 photovoltaic cells Ahoy is building on their buildings.

We also recently published an article on the Smart Thermal Grid you can read here.

Month 36 / 60


The event centre Ahoy no longer uses natural gas. A big boost for the energy transition process of Rotterdam


At this moment out biggest challenge is to clear up which smart solutions will actually be implemented.

Smart electric grid

The new electric heat pump deployed by our local RUGGEDISED partner Eneco started operating on 28 October. It will allow the cooling water system of Ahoy to be reprogrammed making it possible for them to use heat more effectively. Ahoy will no longer be as dependent on the high temperature provided by the city’s heating system and will be able to function in a much more self-sufficient manner. The lower temperatures of heating provided by smart thermal grid will be sufficient.

Energy management and ICT

Electric Buses

Another part of the RUGGEDISED project are the electric buses being deployed by the partner RET in the Hart van Zuid (Heart of South) area. Cleaner mobility is very much needed in the area, and as a part of the project, a study was done to investigate whether the construction of heavy charging capabilities would be necessary in the Hart van Zuid.

The study was conducted by Rotterdam’s public transport operator RET, Erasmus University and the Municipality, and proved the construction of a heavy charging point is not necessary if the energy use is planned in a “smart” way. The result brings a new bus station much closer to realisation in Hart van Zuid.

Urban Platform

The development of the 3D city operations model is progressing steadily. The 3D model of the buildings, trees and the utility network of the city is finished for the entire city and available online at The first sensor data is connected through the data hub using open standards and is visualized in the 3D Digital City. Currently, we are working on connecting the 3D platform with the available real time energy gathered as a part of RUGGEDISED Solution R8, which is a part of the final step for the project.


News and Events

Alderman Filip Chvatal from Brno visits Rotterdam

On 5 September, Alderman Filip Chvatal from Brno paid a visit to Rotterdam. Our Fellow City of Brno has a neighbourhood similar to Hart van Zuid and the Alderman wanted to see the area with his own eyes and talk to the specialists. A meet & greet with his Rotterdam colleague, Arnem Bonte, completed the visit. Afterwards, Mr. Chvatal said:

“This visit was very effective, we were able to see for ourselves what has been already realized within Heart of South since the start-up phase some years ago,” - Filip Chvatal, City of Brno.

 Umeå Energi enthusiastic about the cooling system of The Rotterdam-building

We also had a visit from our RUGGEDISED partners, Umeå Energi. They came to meet their Dutch colleagues and exchange experiences. It resulted in a valued peer to peer meeting in an enthusiastic, interested and involved atmosphere. Especially the new cooling system installed using the grids in Hart van Zuid interested the visiting guests.

A delegation from Brno visits Rotterdam

Large congress on November 11th

Finally, if you understand Dutch, you should not miss out on the next big thing in Rotterdam. On November 11, Ahoy organises the RUGGEDISED-congress ‘Sharing Capacities’ in cooperation with Eneco, TNO and the city of Rotterdam.To quote Ruud Veltenaar, the key note speaker: "creating a better world is a lifestyle, not a job."

It promises to be an interesting afternoon.