How can a utility expand and optimize its distribution grid, and adapt to ever-increasing renewables, while adding as few medium-voltage cables as possible? A new Siemens project in Germany is applying more automation to the grid to achieve these goals.
By the end of 2014, the Distributed Grid Intelligence project will provide lessons and proof-of-concept for using automation to optimize existing distribution network infrastructure. This project is now underway in the Niederstetten region of the German state of Baden-Württemberg, in partnership with the local distribution network operator Netze BW.
By adding more Siemens automation, in a new configuration, Netze BW's grid will operate with maximum autonomy. This should effectively increase the amount and types of load the grid can manage.
A key component is a new substation controller, based on the Siemens Sicam energy automation technology. It acts as a link between Netze BW's SCADA system and intelligent field devices, while also enabling more automated power restoration.
According to Martin Konermann, Technical Director for Netze BW, distributed grid intelligence is an important step in developing a "more clever and predictive power grid." This project is intended to help shape German energy policy, and to show that such policy can be implemented at the local level.
Learn more: See press release.
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