Sun, wind and a big battery: These are the ingredients with which E.ON is bringing the small village of Simris, located in the region of Scania in southern Sweden, onto 100 percent renewable energy. The energy for the approximately 140 households basically comes from wind turbines with installed capacity of 500 kilowatts (kW) and photovoltaic panels with 440 kW, supported by a battery system with 800 kW capacity.
Being supplied entirely by sun and wind entails various challenges in balancing the electricity grid and keeping the power quality with accurate voltage and frequency. One of the project’s aims is that customers in Simris who are connected to the local energy system will not experience a difference in the quality of power supplied.
In order to support the balancing of the local energy system, customers are engaged to become flexible “prosumers”, by producing energy through PV + battery systems. But they also will be “smart consumers”, by having steerable load assets – like, for example, heat pumps. The system is able to cut power peaks and make generation more efficient. To ensure security of supply during the project phase, Simris can be seamlessly re-connected to the regional grid at any time.
“This exciting project shows a possible development for the evolution of smart grids,” says Leonhard Birnbaum, Member of the E.ON Board. “With the right technical equipment and intelligent solutions, at Simris we can now demonstrate a decentralized, renewable but also comfortable future of energy even today.”
The residents of Simris will be able to follow the village’s electricity generation, electricity consumption and the flow of energy to or from the battery continually in real time via E.ON’s website.
The flexibility innovations implemented in Simris are part of the EU project InterFlex, which includes six innovative grid projects in Europe. InterFlex aims to explore various smart grid technologies to resolve grid constraints in order to make the growth of renewables in the electric power systems possible.
The InterFlex project, which started on January 1st, 2017, will run for three years. During this time, 20 project partners will investigate the interactions between flexibilities provided by energy market players and the distribution grid, with a particular focus on energy storage, smart charging of electric vehicles, demand response, islanding, grid automation and the integration of different energy carriers (gas, heat, electricity). A further German InterFlex project is run by Avacon, a regional energy provider to the E.ON group and located in Lower Saxony.