In Germany, the transmission operator Tennet has launched a blockchain pilot project, to test flexible use of household’s batter storage to reduce bottlenecks in the country’s electricity transmission network.
The problem that the company is seeing is that the transmission network is currently triggering a curtailment of wind generation. This is a problem because it contributes less efficiency and resources not being utilized properly.
Tennet is seeking to make sure that its renewable energy will be available on demand and is utilizing blockchain technology to do so.
Tennet announced recently that it would be carrying out the first of its kind European blockchain control power stabilization project. The project will be conducted in partnership with battery supplier Sonnen utilizing IBM’s blockchain technology.
Although a previous announcement was made in May of this year, the project has just entered into the stage of being carried out.
If Tennet is able to successfully conduct this project they will be able to be a pioneer in the space and can be a leader in integrating renewable energy into the European power supply. The chairman of Tennet stated “As a grid operator, we are taking a new approach here to better integrate decentralized renewable energy sources and secure supply. At the same time we offer citizens the opportunity to actively participate in the energy transition.”
Tennet is betting that the blockchain technology will allow for a more convenient, secure and efficient overall flow of power in the grid.
What Role does Sonnen Play?
Well, Sonnen supplies batteries to homeowners which enable the homeowners to store the power generated their homes when they aren’t utilizing it. These networked batteries are in SonnenCommunity. The SonnenCommunity “is a community of sonnenBattery owners who are committed to a cleaner and fairer energy future. As a member you can share your self-produced energy with other members of the sonnenCommunity. Since you are exclusively using energy from the community, there is no need for a conventional energy provider anymore.” It’s a big deal because it’s a shift in the current model from plant for consumer to peer to peer energy sharing.
The batteries that Sonnen provides to homeowners allow them to store the power generated at their homes when they aren’t present and utilizing it, the batteries are part of the Sonnencommunity platform. Sonnen seeks to connect their system to Tennet’s transmission system and provide a place for Tennet to do two things, one to tap into the local stored homeowner energy and secondly to place their excess generated power into the Sonnen batteries. With this process, there is no need to start up a power plant, the necessary electricity can be drawn from the storage systems (the homeowner batteries) instead.
As you might have realized the homeowner can now become more than a consumer and become more integrated into the infrastructure.
According to Tennet, the current processes for power transmission operators are quite cost intensive and can increase costs in excess of 700 million euros. For a company as large as Tennet who provides power to 41 million users across the Netherlands and Germany, finding ways to cut down these costs and make the process more efficient is something that greatly improves the quality of life for consumers, who, in the end, shoulder the onerous cost. You can find out more about the Tennet project on their official site
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