Hardware upgrade and digital platform

Whilst the goal is to digitise the energy supply, this does not mean that all future processes will be virtual. It also means that machines need to learn to better communicate with one another. To make this work, the energy supply will be given a hardware upgrade. The enera project will install over 30,000 smart electricity meters in households, businesses and companies and equip around 1,000 nodes in the electricity grid with digital measuring technology. This is the basis for a smart energy system which automatically directs electricity to wherever it is needed. As part of the upgrade, the following measures will also take place:

  • 200 smart transformer stations will be built which will automatically balance fluctuations in the local grid often caused by solar installations
  • Full converters for wind turbines will be installed which keep the voltage in the grid stable
  • Control technology will be provided for large, flexible consumers, such as industrial companies, which can increase their production when there is a lot of green electricity available and the electricity price is low, and vice versa
  • Electricity storage with a total capacity of seven megawatts will be installed as an additional flexibility option for the interim storage of wind energy

The measurement and control technologies installed as part of the hardware update generate a large volume of data. All of this is to flow onto a secure big data platform that enables data to be exchanged which enera is currently developing and testing in practice. The platform also provides services that are easy to use, such as a billing system and reporting. The aim is to ensure that the platform is actively used for example for managing own consumption in accordance with the supply situation.

 

The energy transition is giving rise to new business models

A further aim of the enera project is to develop new smart processes, services and products that unleash the economic potential of the energy transition.

  • For experts: marketplace for regional energy products and services

In order to make optimum use of the region’s resources, electricity needs to be generated and used as flexibly as possible so that the burden on the grid can be reduced and expensive expansion minimised. The enera project will therefore develop networks between producers, storage facilities and operations to create regional virtual power plants which will trade regional energy products and services across a marketplace. Such networks will offer electricity producers, traders and grid operators in particular the opportunity to obtain more reliable forecasts for electricity production and markets and thus to trade more efficiently.

  • For customers: individual tariffs and the opportunity to earn money from the energy transition

Private households with smart meters can benefit from individual, flexible tariffs. For example, they can be rewarded if they charge their electric car when there is a lot of wind, or use interactive apps that help them to save energy. If this smart technology is also installed around the home, domestic solar storage or night storage heating could earn households money by reducing the burden on the grid.