With the increasing popularity of self-consumption, the feed-in rates have fallen (Image: Conergy)
The German network operator TransnetBW has teamed up with the solar inverter supplier SMA to collect data that will solve potential problems with power distribution in Baden-Württemberg.
The cooperation will help TransnetBW to solve problems that may arise in the booming German energy storage market.
As more and more battery storage systems are introduced and the renewable energy market is gradually decentralized, grid operators are less aware of where electricity should be distributed.
Data analysis and forecasting have therefore become far more important for “reliable, efficient and cost-effective network operation”, said Jochen Bornemann, Executive Vice President of the SMA Digital Center.
Dr. Philipp Guthke, who is responsible for special forecast and optimization tasks at Transnet, said that around 10% of the electricity generated no longer reaches the supply network.
And that number is likely to increase in the years to come. The latest analyzes by the trading organization SolarPower Europe showed that the total installed capacity for battery storage systems (BESS) reached almost 2 GWh by the end of 2019, which corresponds to an increase in capacity of 57% compared to the previous year. Germany is by far Europe’s leading market for battery storage for private households. Even for 2020, capacity growth of 9% compared to the previous year is forecast, which is higher than previously assumed due to the resilience of the market. The analysts from SolarPower Europe expect storage capacity to grow by 14% for the next year.
Since more private electricity consumers store their own energy, Transnet has less control over the electricity distribution in the Baden-Württemberg region’s network.
SMA manages more than 700,000 registered PV and storage systems and collects real-time data on power generation, grid feed-in and self-consumption. The company has access to generation and consumption data from more than 20,000 PV systems in the Baden-Württemberg region.
“In Germany alone, more than 180,000 PV systems of all sizes send low and medium voltage data to our online monitoring portal Sunny Portal via SMA inverters,” said Bornemann, adding that the company’s data solutions are being applied to other parts of the country could.
The group aggregates measurement data using postcodes to prevent individual systems from being identified by their software and is recorded in accordance with the GDPR, SMA said in a statement.
Guthke added that TransnetBW’s partnership will enable the utility to better assess both “the electricity currently being generated by PV systems… and the reduced amount of solar electricity that is fed into the grid due to self-consumption can”.