The mayor of Wildpoldsried, Arno Zengerle, is a very reasonable man. On the wall next to the mayor’s desk is a poster. It shows a windmill, and it reads: “Collect, put in order, assess, decide.” More than 20 years ago, when he became the mayor of this small, idyllic mountain village in the south of Germany, he collected knowledge, put it in order, assessed it, and then made a decision. Today, his village constitutes one of the most forward-looking projects for renewable energy and grid research. “We have visitors from Vietnam, Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Myanmar and Iraq” Zengerle notes as he scrolls through his calendar.” Delegations from all over the world come here to see how the energy solutions in Zengerle’s village could be adopted to their countries. Most of them are stunned by what they see: A quite traditional Bavarian way of life – the village has around 50
farmers – but below the surface, cutting-edge energy production and grid infrastructure.
With this grid infrastructure, Wildpoldsried is now setting a new milestone. For the first time, Siemens together with its partners successfully decoupled part of the distribution network from the public power grid. It is the first time a regional, self-contained and intelligent power distribution network, a so-called microgrid, is running interruption-free and stable under real conditions. The project in Wildpoldsried is setting a benchmark regarding the implementation of a modern power infrastructure based on “prosumers”.