The aim of the C/sells project is to balance the generation and consumption of energy directly at local and regional level in the most optimum way possible and, through this, to stabilise the grid. At the same time, local residents are to be actively involved and to benefit financially from the energy transition.
The energy system being tested as part of the C/sells project is composed of many different cells. These are divided into three categories:
- Consumption, e.g. towns/cities, districts and stretches of street, as well as certain sites such as airports and industrial estates
- Grids, such as transmission and distribution grids
- Generation, e.g. via wind parks and solar installations
The different cells come together to form the infrastructure of a cell-based energy system, which the C/sells project is digitalising. This means that each cell is able to generate, distribute and use energy itself and that entire towns and cities can manage their own energy autonomously by balancing generation and demand locally. In addition, the cells can also be connected up with one another using digital technology. The electricity is then automatically directed to wherever it is needed at a given moment in time.
To make this system work, C/sells relies on the following instruments:
- an infrastructure information system that enables data to be exchanged securely between the different cells. This system also opens up an energy market for flexibilities, i.e. makes it possible to align consumption with energy generation.
- a coordination sequence through which the grids can communicate and take action quickly and for the most part autonomously. This particular instrument analyses and evaluates the state of the grid so that automatic action is taken whenever a critical situation, such as bottlenecks, occurs.
- regional energy trading and flexibilities, leading to new services and products.
The digital energy transition opens up opportunities for new business models, services and products. This potential can be used not only by generators of energy and grid operators, but also by members of the community, with some 760,000 people in the south of Germany now producing their own electricity. By developing new concepts, the C/sells project aims to enable local residents to benefit from the energy transition financially and to thereby create greater public acceptance for it.