Helping create the electricity grid of the future
The pilot project for the "Integration of renewable energies and e-mobility" (IRENE) aims to identify technical and business solutions to enable distribution network operators to feed power from fluctuating decentralized renewable energy sources into the grid.
One fundamental part of the research project is a self-organizing energy automation system for which Siemens is implementing newly developed software. This software is designed to optimize the timing of power generation from the large number of photovoltaic, wind, hydroelectric and biogas systems connected to the Allgäu electricity grid, as well as power consumption patterns and the storage of energy generated from renewable sources.
The metering technology used at over 200 selected metering points also plays a vital role. The data collected enables grid load monitoring and real-time intervention. Coupled with the deployment of state-of-the-art regulating systems, the project findings will enable demand and supply peaks in an existing distribution network to be smoothed out so that energy suppliers will no longer need to keep as much capacity in reserve in future.
Running over a two-year period, the research project will make up to 40 electric vehicles available to private and business customers. These will preferably be charged using environmentally friendly energy sources. If integrated in a "smart grid", they can also be used as a power reservoir when there is a surplus of electricity, which can then be fed back into the grid at times of peak demand.
As a pioneering community in all forms of renewables, Wildpoldsried is the ideal place to explore under real-life conditions the energy scenario already expected to prevail in Germany in 2020. Supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economics, the pilot project to test the smart grids of the future was launched in the Allgäu jointly by Allgäuer Überlandwerke GmbH (AÜW), Siemens AG, Kempten University and RWTH Aachen University.