Siemens and Allgäuer Überlandwerk form joint venture for smart grid expansion
27 February 2017
Siemens and Allgäuer Überlandwerk GmbH (AÜW), based in Kempten, Germany, have formed a joint venture named egrid to commercially implement the results from IRENE and IREN2, two joint smart grid research projects in Wildpoldsried. It was agreed that Siemens would acquire a 49-percent share in the AÜW subsidiary, egrid applications & consulting GmbH. The transaction is subject to clearance by the competent competition authorities. 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. The primary action areas will be the integration of large capacities from distributed generation plants and intelligent control of the distribution grid.
"The results of the two research projects IRENE and IREN2 have far exceeded our expectations," said Michael Schneider, Head of the Power Technologies International (PTI) Business Segment within the Siemens Energy Management Division. "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 thus 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."
"Egrid has demonstrated very positive growth in its first fiscal year," said Bernhard Rindt, Managing Director of egrid applications & consulting GmbH. "Our customers include public works, municipalities and industrial enterprises who have benefited from our experience gained through the IRENE and IREN2 projects. With Siemens as our partner, we will be able to expand this knowledge and offer new joint solutions for the grid of the future."
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 therefore worked together with partners from science and industry 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. The 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 optimized.
Wildpoldsried offered the best conditions for verifying theoretical results on the basis of a real-life smart energy system. Both research projects in the Allgäu region have established a basis not only for a future renewable energy system between the conflicting priorities of regulation and the market but also for the new joint venture.