Following the motto ‘exploiting instead of curtailing’, 50Hertz is starting another Power-to-Heat (PtH) project within its grid area with energy service provider GETEC as its partner. In the future, both companies want to provide green urban heating in the Mümmelsmannsberg area in Hamburg.
GETEC operates two combined heat and power (CHP) plants that run on natural gas in Billstedt, a city quarter in eastern Hamburg. These plants generate heat and electricity for around 7,000 residential and commercial units. In the future, one of both CHP plants should be curtailed when more electricity is generated in northern Germany than can be transported to the south because of strong winds. That is when the PtH unit, with its capacity of 5 MW, takes over and its electrode boiler transforms the electricity from renewable energy sources into zero-emission urban heating for homes and water. The coordination between the CHP and PtH units is ensured by smart control technology. The investment of 1.2 million euros is made entirely by 50Hertz. The unit should be operational by late 2021.
“For the first time we will support the construction of such a facility in a large city, together with a partner, and have full access to it, as prescribed by law”, explains Dr Dirk Biermann, Chief Markets and System Operations Officer at 50Hertz. “By doing so, we will be able to relieve a bottleneck in the extra-high voltage grid between Hamburg, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein to some extent and contribute to the more efficient use of wind power from the northern Germany.”
Michael Lowak, Segment CEO Real Estate of the GETEC Group, commented: ‘This is a showcase project for successful sector coupling between the electricity and heating sectors in the housing industry. This way, we create a win-win situation for all. The stress on the power grid is relieved, no unnecessary costs are incurred for the curtailment and compensation of RE units, and the estate and its residents receive reliable, efficient and climate-friendly heating.’
The cooperation is based on an amendment made to the Energy Industry Act (EnWG) in 2017.Since then, the legislator has granted the transmission system operators the opportunity to enter into a redispatch contract with an operator of a combined heat and power unit for the construction and operation of a PtH unit. In accordance with §13 (6a) of the EnWG, excess electricity should not be curtailed in the so-called grid expansion area, but transformed into heat using PtH technology for further exploitation. The grid exploitation area includes the northern part of Lower Saxony as well as the states of Bremen, Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. 50Hertz already made cooperation agreements similar to the one now concluded with GETEC, i.e. with the utility companies of Neubrandenburg, Rostock, Parchim and Stralsund.
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