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Stable grids with a functioning electricity supply from a range of renewable sources: thanks to IREN2, this vision has become reality at Wildpoldsried, the smart energy village in Allgäu in southern Germany. Siemens is part of the top-level consortium behind the project.
The German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) is supporting the innovative spirit of German-based companies by offering innovation-friendly conditions and market-oriented R&D and innovation activities. As an innovative, future-oriented project, IREN2 (Future viable networks for integration of renewable energy Systems) has been classed as an initiative that is worthy to be funded.
In the community of Wildpoldsried, in Germany’s Allgäu region, everyone involved in the first microgrid test of its kind outside the laboratory is performing pioneering work.
As part of IREN2, Siemens and its consortium partners are investigating new types of grid structures and ways of operating them based on technical and economic criteria. The goal is to find out how energy systems involving distributed electricity generation and additional components can be technically and economically optimized. In addition, microgrids – smart, self-contained regional electricity distribution systems – are being trialed as islanded grids, as are their use and operation as “topological power plants.”
IREN2 runs from 2014 to 2017. For the term of the project, the community will be disconnected from the main power supply system. A further objective is to demonstrate that the renewable energy producers bundled in the microgrid can temporarily replace conventional power plants by providing ancillary services from the distribution grid.
“Everyone has the opportunity to play an active role in the transition to a new energy mix and even profit from it – you just need to embrace it.”
Since the 1990s, Wildpoldsried has been involved in sustainable energy systems. During this time, Wildpoldsried evolved from a simple community in the Allgäu to an internationally renowned energy village. This is thanks in part to the Siemens projects IRENE and IREN2.
None of this would have been possible without the citizens of Wildpoldsried. From the beginning, all of them have been driving this development.
Here, Mayor Arno Zengerle, energy producer Wendelin Einsiedler, and energy pioneer Günter Mögele introduce their village.
Members of the consortium: