Westnetz is a Dortmund-based energy distribution system operator for electricity and gas and a wholly owned subsidiary of the energy company Westenergie. Committed to sustainable smart grids, the operator understands the potential of smart grid control to help reach Germany's goal of 15 million electric cars on the road by 2030.
As part of a 'Grid Operation 4.0' project, Westnetz is equipping 100 local grids with smart metering technology and linking them to a digital system. This makes the planning and operation of local networks safer and more efficient. They used XENON as a building block to enable the project development and optimize usage of the distribution network's capacity.
Smart grid control for the future
Westnetz used our XENON platform and customizable features to access and control flexible loads during periods of grid congestion in order to avoid overloads. At a pilot site with 17 energy assets – charging stations and photovoltaic systems – the XENON-based energy management system locally optimized energy flows within the available power limit. Now, this power limit can be adjusted by Westnetz in response to the state of the grid via XENON's API. This facilitates quick responses to grid imbalances, removes the need for previously required safety buffers and ensures optimal utilization of the distribution grid's capacity.
With the help of XENON, grid expansion costs were reduced and additional charging infrastructure, or other assets that cause sharp increases in energy loads, were able to be integrated into the grid. Future regulatory requirements, such as dynamic network tariffs, are already technically feasible within the system.
As an additional benefit, end users profit from faster expansion of charging infrastructure and more favorable grid tariffs, as long as they control their devices in line with regulatory frameworks.
Upon the successful completion of the pilot project, collaboration between Westnetz and gridX ended. However, Westnetz is continuing its 'Grid Operation 4.0' project and can at any time leverage XENON's modular capabilities to meet additional or changing requirements.