Industry giants create joint smart grid entity


Siemens and regional German energy supply company Allgäuer Überlandwerk GmbH (AÜW) based in Kempten, will “commercially implement the results from IRENE and IREN2, two joint smart grid research projects in Wildpoldsried,” through its joint entity, ‘egrid’.

According to a release, the joint venture will offer innovative consulting services for distribution grid operators and will continue to refine existing offers. The joint venture’s consulting services will focus on “intelligence instead of copper” solutions for smart grid expansion.

Primary focus areas include the integration of large capacities from distributed generation plants and intelligent control of the distribution grid. [Could Wildpoldsried’s energy model be adapted to Africa?]

Michael Schneider, head of the Power Technologies International (PTI) Business Segment within the Siemens Energy Management Division, said: “The results of the two research projects IRENE and IREN2 have far exceeded our expectations.

“I am very pleased about this, and it is an ideal starting point for our new joint venture. Other grid operators will now be able to profit from our distributed infeed and storage solutions. It’s from real-life practice and for real-life practice. Together with Allgäuer Überlandwerk, we are actively supporting the transition to a new energy mix.”

Michael Lucke, managing director of Allgäuer Überlandwerk GmbH said: “The results from the Wildpoldsried project and other egrid customers have shown that the power grid has much larger reserves than previously thought. This finding and the knowledge of why this is true form the basis for our joint venture with Siemens.”

Smart energy integration

Egrid customers include public works, municipalities and industrial enterprises who have benefited from our experience gained through the IRENE and IREN2 projects.

The release adds that in Wildpoldsried, where both research projects are located, the amount of electrical power generated from renewable sources is five times greater than what the village needs. During the course of the first project (IRENE: Integration of Renewable Energy and Electromobility), Siemens and AÜW worked together with partners to build a smart grid in the town situated in the Allgäu region from mid-2011 to the end of 2013. The goal was to balance out power generation and consumption and thus keep the grid stable.

These efforts established the main requirements for the new IREN2 research projects (Future-Viable Grids for the Integration of Renewable Energy Systems), which has been in progress from 2014 to 2017. This project is aimed at scientific studies and practical testing of the best ways to operate autonomous island systems and topological power plants. Researchers are examining new types of grid structures and ways to manage them according to technical and economic criteria, with the goal of determining how energy systems with distributed power generation and additional components can be technically and economically optimised.


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