New in Austria: Virtual Power Plant and Energy-Saving Network


VERBUND starts new electricity services for local industry

VERBUND, Austria's leading electricity company is massively developing its range of energy efficient solutions, innovative services, business models and is offering two innovative solutions for local industry and businesses through the VERBUND Power Pool and VERBUND-ECO-NET.  

The Principle of Demand-Response. Energy Use Follows Production
New forms of renewable energy such as wind or solar energy and decentralised production are on the rise. With this trend turnaround in electricity production, due to weather conditions massive fluctuations in the electricity grid occur. In order to also be able to guarantee the stability and security of supply on the electricity grid should there be fluctuations in capacity, the prevailing conditions have to be modified and the supply managed intelligently in future: in future the energy use has to follow production, to be able to guarantee a constant and uninterrupted supply. Flexibility will become one of the key components of the energy system in future.

VERBUND Power Pool. The First Virtual Large Power Plant for Austria
As the first electricity provider in Austria, VERBUND is implementing this demand-response principle in a practical way and is also immediately taking action as a virtual power plant operator: With VERBUND Power Pool, interested industry and businesses will be addressed. In this way individual consumption and production flexibility will be intelligently combined and marketed on the balancing energy market. Businesses from various branches with various flexibility profiles can take part in the VERBUND Power Pool. Flexibility itself will become a product and companies which take part in the "Pool" can obtain an attractive reduction in energy costs as well as additional revenue. Revenue can be generated just for the willingness to react flexibly. "Alongside sustainable production, network expansion, storage and energy efficiency, the demand-response principle is one of the pillars in the implementation of the energy transition", says VERBUND CEO Wolfgang Anzengruber. He says "And compared to other infrastructural measures, the active integration of existing flexibility can be implemented quickly and at a low cost. We're inviting industry-sector and business customers to get involved in VERBUND Power Pool!".

Entelios AG, Europe's leading solutions provider for the management of decentralised consumers, storage and producers of electrical energy in industrial, commercial and institutional sectors, has been chosen by VERBUND as a partner for implementing its Power Pool special offer.

"By using the Entelios solution, VERBUND Power Pool will come to mean the following for the participating companies: savings in energy costs as well as attractive additional revenue with very low personal investment with full retention of operational self-monitoring", says Oliver Stahl, CEO of Entelios AG. He says "And in this way the use of demand-response in Europe will support the integration of renewable energy. Demand-response has already been established as a proven standard tool in grid stabilization in the USA as well".

Business Model and Technology
The VERBUND Power Pool begins in January 2014. "We are currently conducting intensive talks with Austrian industry-sector clients" according to Wolfgang Pell, VERBUND Head of Innovations. He says "There is enormous interest, the potential of the "flexibility" product will be recognized on the market. Renewable inter-sector partnerships are replacing the fossil-fuel business models. Energy providers and the industry sector profit equally from innovative market models. Innovation is the most efficient form of energy".

At the heart of VERBUND Power Pool is the technology platform made available by the solution provider, Entelios. The platform facilitates the company’s individual participation on the balancing market by means of secure automated integration and intelligent bundling. Via a locally installed Entelios E-BoxTM, a secure automated communication link takes place between the company’s system control and the Entelios-Software Suite™, which is handled in a central control room. The Entelios Software Suite™ comprises the most important functions of rule-based data processing in what is virtually real-time, an intelligent management of different pools, as well as the capacity for short-term forecasting and modelling of the pooled switching potential.

With the aid of this technology, the most diverse loads and decentralised generation facilities in industry, commerce and among producers of renewable energies are already being securely switched and their flexibility marketed as a reliable capacity.

Prerequisites for participation in the VERBUND Power Pool
Alongside their own production, interested companies should ideally have access to flexibly usable production units, which can be controlled as necessary when required. Examples of these are pumps, mills, electric ovens, air conditioning, compressed air, refrigeration, etc. Suitable industries for VERBUND Power Pool include the paper, steel and metal industry, the water industry, wastewater treatment plants, the food or beverage industry and chemical processing, but also larger real estate with corresponding building service installations.

Practical example: Paulaner Brewery, Munich
By means of traditional products, most notable Paulaner wheat beer, the Paulaner brewery conveys the authentic Munich approach to life, but is also famous for its implementation of innovative and environmentally friendly concepts. 2010 saw the start of the company’s collaboration with Entelios in the realisation of the demand-response principle: with minimal technical effort and under the strictest upholding of beer quality, flexibility in electricity consumption in the production process was identified and utilised for marketing as balance energy. Working closely with the brewery technicians, Entelios developed a strategy for the switching on or off of refrigeration compressors, the cogeneration unit, as well as the wastewater treatment plant in accordance with grid requirements. The motors of the refrigeration compressors were thus switched off within the framework of a predefined temperature tolerance and automatically switched on again upon reaching the temperature tolerance. The processing and quality of the brine are not affected; the procedure intrinsically leaves the production process untouched. The link via the Entelios E-BoxTM now results in the availability of almost 1 MW of electrical capacity, which may be employed as a flexibility module for marketing on the balancing market and which means additional annual revenue for Paulaner.

Alongside VERBUND POWER POOL, Austria’s leading electricity company is offering a further innovative service for industrial companies: a learning advisory network for energy efficiency:

VERBUND-ECO-NET. The learning network for increased energy efficiency 
VERBUND-ECO-NET is based on a development by the Fraunhofer Institute and, with immediate effect, is available as an advisory service for increased energy efficiency for industrial enterprises and other large electricity consumers in Austria. Eight up to a maximum of 12 different companies join forces to form the learning network and follow a mutually agreed, concrete reduction goal for a three-year duration. In the process, they are accompanied by experienced practitioners and learn how to use synergy effects, how to build up sound know-how and how to reduce energy consumption, energy costs as well as CO2 emissions.

Each company receives an initial report based on scientific fact, a concrete catalogue of measures, and regular monitoring over the course of the project. The activities are considered as technical preparation for ISO-50001 certification. The goal of the VERBUND-ECO-NET is to learn from one another within a network in order to jointly save energy: The result is a doubling through to tripling of energy efficiency in comparison with the industry average.

Ingun Metelko Ingun Metelko

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