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First blockchain pilot project aims to reduce German wind curtailment

GERMANY: Transmission operator Tennet has launched a blockchain pilot project to test flexible use of households' battery storage to reduce bottlenecks in Germany's electricity transmission network, which are currently triggering curtailment of wind generation.

Tennet is looking to reduce wind curtailment by using blockchain technology
Tennet is looking to reduce wind curtailment by using blockchain technology

Tennet and its project partner Sonnen, which is providing the fleet of home-based batteries, said the cooperation project is a first of its kind.

Aside from expansion of the transmission networks, use of "flexibilities" like storage could help to reduce the measures required for stabilising network operation, Tennet said.

The blockchain solution was developed by IBM and is based on Hyperledger Fabric, a blockchain framework application hosted by The Linux Foundation, Tennet said.

"Blockchain offers new possibilities to connect decentrally-distributed plants across regions securely and intelligently with each other. This helps us to reduce the use of measures to stabilise the networks like the expensive curtailing of wind energy.

"In future, we'll be able to reduce the amount of wind generation that has to be discarded because it cannot be transported," said Urban Keussen, head of Tennet's German division.

In 2016, measures undertaken by transmission system operators to cope with transport bottlenecks in the German electricity grid cost roughly €800 million, a large part accounted for by wind farm curtailment, according to Tennet. The cost is shouldered by electricity consumers.

In a separate announcement, Tennet's Dutch division said it would use blockchain technology to help balance the Netherland's grid with car batteries.

In this pilot programme, project partner, utility Vandebron. will work with owners of electric cars to "make the capacity of their car batteries available to help Tennet balance the grid".

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