Getting started


This section walks you through getting FlexMeasures to run with the least effort. We’ll cover making a secret key, connecting a database and creating one user & one asset.


Are you not hosting FlexMeasures, but want to learn how to use it? Head over to our tutorials, starting with Posting data.

Install FlexMeasures

Install dependencies and the flexmeasures platform itself:

pip install flexmeasures


With newer Python versions and Windows, some smaller dependencies (e.g. tables or rq-win) might cause issues as support is often slower. You might overcome this with a little research, by installing from wheels or from the repo, respectively.

Make a secret key for sessions and password salts

Set a secret key which is used to sign user sessions and re-salt their passwords. The quickest way is with an environment variable, like this:

export SECRET_KEY=something-secret

(on Windows, use set instead of export)

This suffices for a quick start.

If you want to consistently use FlexMeasures, we recommend you add this setting to your config file at ~/.flexmeasures.cfg and use a truly random string. Here is a Pythonic way to generate a good secret key:

python -c "import secrets; print(secrets.token_urlsafe())"

Configure environment

Set an environment variable to indicate in which environment you are operating (one out of development|testing|staging|production). We’ll go with development here:

export FLASK_ENV=development

(on Windows, use set instead of export)


echo "FLASK_ENV=development" >> .env


The default is production, which will not work well on localhost due to SSL issues.

Preparing the time series database

  • Make sure you have a Postgres (Version 9+) database for FlexMeasures to use. See Handling data (section “Getting ready to use”) for instructions on this.

  • Tell flexmeasures about it:

    export SQLALCHEMY_DATABASE_URI="postgresql://<user>:<password>@<host-address>[:<port>]/<db>"

    If you install this on localhost, host-address is and the port can be left out. (on Windows, use set instead of export)

  • Create the Postgres DB structure for FlexMeasures:

    flexmeasures db upgrade

This suffices for a quick start.


For a more permanent configuration, you can create your FlexMeasures configuration file at ~/.flexmeasures.cfg and add this:


Add an account & user

FlexMeasures is a tenant-based platform ― multiple clients can enjoy its services on one server. Let’s create a tenant account first:

flexmeasures add account --name  "Some company"

This command will tell us the ID of this account. Let’s assume it was 2.

FlexMeasures is also a web-based platform, so we need to create a user to authenticate:

flexmeasures add user --username <your-username> --email <your-email-address> --account-id 2 --roles=admin
  • This will ask you to set a password for the user.

  • Giving the first user the admin role is probably what you want.

Add structure

Populate the database with some standard energy asset types, weather sensor types and a dummy market:

flexmeasures add structure

Add your first weather sensor

Weather plays a role for almost all use cases. FlexMeasures supports a few weather sensor types out of the box (“temperature”, “wind_speed” and “radiation”), but you need to decide which ones you need and where they are located. Let’s use the flexmeasures CLI Commands to add one:

flexmeasures add weather-sensor --name "my rooftop thermometer" --weather-sensor-type-name temperature --unit °C --event-resolution 15 --latitude 33 --longitude 2.4

Add your first asset

There are three ways to add assets:

Use the flexmeasures CLI Commands:

flexmeasures add asset --name "my basement battery pack" --asset-type-name battery --capacity-in-MW 30 --event-resolution 2 --latitude 65 --longitude 123.76 --owner-id 1

Here, I left out the --market-id parameter, because in this quickstart scenario I’m fine with the dummy market created with flexmeasures add structure above. For the ownership, I got my user ID from the output of flexmeasures add user above, or I can browse to FlexMeasures’ user listing and hover over my username.

Or, you could head over to http://localhost:5000/assets (after you started FlexMeasures, see next step) and add a new asset there in a web form.

Finally, you can also use the POST /api/v2_0/assets endpoint in the FlexMeasures API to create an asset.

Run FlexMeasures

It’s finally time to start running FlexMeasures:

flexmeasures run

(This might print some warnings, see the next section where we go into more detail)


In a production context, you shouldn’t run a script - hand the app object to a WSGI process, as your platform of choice describes. Often, that requires a WSGI script. We provide an example WSGI script in continuous_integration.

You can visit http://localhost:5000 now to see if the app’s UI works. When you see the dashboard, the map will not work. For that, you’ll need to get your MAPBOX_ACCESS_TOKEN and add it to your config file.

Add data

You can use the POST /api/v2_0/postMeterData endpoint in the FlexMeasures API to send meter data.


issue 56 should create a CLI function for adding a lot of data at once, from a CSV dataset.

Also, you can add forecasts for your meter data with the flexmeasures add command, here is an example:

flexmeasures add forecasts --from-date 2020-03-08 --to-date 2020-04-08 --asset-type Asset --asset my-solar-panel


You can also use the API to send forecast data.

Other settings, for full functionality

Set mail settings

For FlexMeasures to be able to send email to users (e.g. for resetting passwords), you need an email account which can do that (e.g. GMail). Set the MAIL_* settings in your configuration, see Mail.

Install an LP solver

For planning balancing actions, the FlexMeasures platform uses a linear program solver. Currently that is the Cbc solver. See FLEXMEASURES_LP_SOLVER if you want to change to a different solver.

Installing Cbc can be done on Unix via:

apt-get install coinor-cbc

(also available in different popular package managers).

We provide a script for installing from source (without requiring sudo rights) in continuous_integration.

More information (e.g. for installing on Windows) on the Cbc website.

Install and configure Redis

To let FlexMeasures queue forecasting and scheduling jobs, install a Redis server (or rent one) and configure access to it within FlexMeasures’ config file (see above). You can find the necessary settings in Redis.