The proactive distribution grid

Smart electricity grids of the future

With the expansion of renewables, the requirements for an intelligent, flexible power grid are increasing. The climate-friendly production of electricity will only fully pay off if the grid is able to handle all of the electricity that is generated.

This requires the role of the distribution system operator to change as well: from a reactive to a proactive one. The “Proactive Distribution Grid” project assesses how exactly that proactive, formative role will look. Together with its partners BTC, TU Dortmund University, RWTH Aachen University, OFFIS and Venios, innogy, as the project coordinator, is making an important contribution towards shaping the role of the distribution system operator of the future.

Bottlenecks in the grid must be resolved flexibly

The key objective of the project, sponsored, among others, by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), is to develop an open, standardised and transferable electricity supply system.

As part of the project, technological solutions are developed and tested that enable system operators to flexibly resolve bottlenecks. Not only does this increase operational reliability and security of supply, it also reduces the costs for expanding the grid. The solutions that have been developed are prototyped in real systems. In addition to looking at the role of the distribution system operator, the project also analyses the regulatory framework.

Project objectives

The main objective of the project is to make grid operation flexible. A key principle in this context is the “traffic light concept” for describing the interaction between market and grid. Therefore ideas for optimally fleshing out the traffic light concept in terms of technology and organisation are developed as part of the project, which are subsequently realised in the form of individual system components and implemented in Westnetz GmbH’s grid area. In this way, necessary practical experience and important insights can be gained.

Objectives at a glance:

  • reliable state estimation and prognosis of the distribution grid
  • conceptual and technological design of the traffic light concept
  • optimal coordination of grid and market players
  • utilise flexibility within the distribution grid

Project duration: 1 December 2014 to 30 November 2017
Budget: €6.5 million
Subsidies: €3.74 million

Supported by the "Future-proof Power Grids" initiative of the German Federal Government

Project partners

More information

Smart and connected

More convenience in day-to-day life

AmpaCity super-conductor

Technological world first in Essen.

Smart Operator

Flexible grids for decentralised generators