Sustainability Report 2017

Cooperation and Networks

Only together can we master the energy transition. We are convinced of this. Therefore, 50Hertz has been cooperating with the various actors for many years on the subject of renewable energies, climate and environmental protection, as well as harmonisation of the European electricity market.

Cooperation with Distribution System Operators

Since 2014, 50Hertz has been cooperating even more closely with the distribution system operators (DSOs) of the consortium “Flächennetzbetreiber Arge Ost”. With the increasing feed-in of renewable energies to the grids and the associated further decentralisation, new flexible players are emerging, who are usually connected to the distribution grids. It is therefore clear to 50Hertz that together we have to adapt our system and grid control to the new requirements. In a 10-point program, together with the Arge Ost DSOs, we have therefore formulated necessary developments for the four system services – frequency control, voltage control, operational management and restoration of supply.


point programme

defines responsibilities
between TSOs and DSOs.

The first pilot tests for solution approaches to the system services of frequency control and voltage control are currently being carried out. To this end, the DSOs together with 50Hertz have, among other things, introduced active reactive power control. In alignment with energy producers 50Hertz will also make power plant deployment planning data available to the DSOs. This places new demands on system grid control and requires intensive coordination between TSOs and DSOs. Therefore, a training concept was developed in order to provide appropriate technical skills and training in the necessary procedures.

Gemeinsam im Umspannwerk Wolmirstedt unterwegs: Rainer Schmittdiel, Claudia Dalbert, Dr. Frank Golletz, Johannes Kempmann und Andreas Mötzing Out and about together at the Wolmirstedt substation: (from left) Rainer Schmittdiel, Chief Executive Officer of Avacon Netz GmbH, Saxony-Anhalt Energy Minister Prof Dr Claudia Dalbert, 50Hertz Chief Technical Officer, Dr Frank Golletz, and Johannes Kempmann, Chief Technical Officer of Städtische Werke Magdeburg, and Andreas Mötzing, Director of the 50Hertz Regional Centre West.

WindNODE – Solutions for the Energy Transition

In January 2017, the WindNODE project began with an initial consortium meeting with all partners in the 50Hertz Netzquartier. Being the main coordinator, 50Hertz co-founded the project. More than 70 partners have teamed up in order to develop a Northeast German model region for intelligent energy within four years. In addition to energy suppliers and grid operators, companies in the automotive industry, the utilities and waste management sector, the housing sector, retail trade, and several universities as well as research institutes from the region are participating in the projects.

Solutions are being jointly developed in order to integrate ever larger quantities of renewable energies into the electricity grids as efficiently as possible and at the same time to maintain stable power grids. WindNODE involves all six East German states, including Berlin, and comes under the patronage of the six prime ministers and the Governing Mayor of Berlin. The project will cost nearly EUR 70 million and will be funded as part of the “SINTEG – Showcase Intelligent Energy – Digital Agenda for the Energy Transition” funding programme by the Federal Ministry of Economy and Energy.

Cooperation between WindNODE, Fraunhofer-Institut and 50Hertz In search of solutions for the future: (from left) Markus Graebig (WindNODE), Marc Richter (Fraunhofer-Institut) and Olaf Ziemann (50Hertz).

The 50Hertz Subprojects at WindNODE

Image: Flexibility and organisation in the energy system of the future

In the WindNODE project, 50Hertz is responsible for the “Flexibility Platform” sub-project. Its intention is to show how decentralised systems can be better used in energy industry processes. In this context, together with regional distribution system operators, 50Hertz is developing a flexibility platform, through which small conventional and renewable generating facilities or switchable or shiftable loads can offer their flexibility. Based on these offers, distributed flexibilities can be included in a technology-neutral manner in the grid congestion management processes. In another 50Hertz sub-project, the balancing power processes are also to be further developed in terms of improved application possibilities for distributed flexibilities. An important basis for the new processes is offered by the smart meter infrastructure. The automated processing of metered values is important for the efficient handling of the processes. Furthermore, the data from the intelligent measurement systems is to be used to improve forecasting for marketing and system operation.

Further information on the WindNODE cooperative programme and its sub-projects can be found here:

Interwined with Science

In the reporting year 2017, approximately EUR 3 million were used for research and development projects. Additionally, 50Hertz received EUR 0.25 million, which was provided in public, non-refundable subsidies.

We share our experiences from practice with science on a regular basis. Considering that 50Hertz has founded a Scientific Advisory Board. The voluntary board currently consists of 16 professors from the fields of energy technology, business, law and policy. The Advisory Board meets once or twice a year to discuss and evaluate current topics of relevance to 50Hertz and future questions. Main aspects of cooperation are the initiation and conduct of joint research and development projects as well as studies and supervision of dissertations, bachelor’s and master’s theses. In the future, sustainability issues should become more important in this scientific dialogue.

For many years, 50Hertz has been cooperating with universities in the north and east of Germany. These scientific partners include, among others, the Technical University of Dresden, the Technical University of Ilmenau, the Otto-von-Guericke University of Magdeburg, the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus and the Technical University of Berlin. Together with the scientists and students, 50Hertz examined the voltage quality of high voltage grids, for example, the operation of alternating current and direct current on a shared mast, the determination of critical conditions in the 50Hertz grid or the implications of the energy transition for business, politics and society. In addition, we regularly bring practice-oriented presentations, lectures and workshops into studies and everyday scientific life at the universities and research facilities.

Sustainably developing the European Grid Infrastructure

The Renewables Grid Initiative (RGI), launched in 2009 together with environmental organisations, is a Europe-wide exchange and dialogue platform for transmission system operators and nongovernmental organisations. 50Hertz was part of it from the very beginning. The globally unique initiative follows the effective integration of renewable energies into the electricity grid and is committed to the sustainable development of the European grid infrastructures:

The early exchange of information between transmission system operators and environmental organisations, local authorities, institutions and citizens on grid expansion projects improves local understanding of the projects, accelerating the approval process as much as possible.

Under the leadership of the RGI, this was successfully tested within the context of the EU-funded BESTGRID project in a total of five pilot projects. 50Hertz participated in the context of the Bertikow – Pasewalk 380-kV-overhead line grid expansion project.