An all green supply -- Integrating wind

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Combining two forms of renewable energy generation to provide a source of power on demand is the aim of a project launched last month in Germany by the operators of the Druiberg wind station, working in co-operation with major energy network company Vattenfall Europe Transmission. Druiberg, south of Magdeburg in eastern Germany, is to be expanded from 62 MW to 82 MW next year. The aim of the project is to back-up Druiberg's variable wind power with pumped storage hydro from the nearby Wendefurth hydro pumped storage station, owned by Vattenfall and 30 kilometres from the wind station. Wendefurth has two 40 MW turbines.

The project study, to be carried out by Kassel university, will find out whether a combination of wind power and hydro pumped storage alone can provide a secure supply of electricity for the nearby small town of Dardesheim, or whether other renewable energies must be included.

The wind station currently provides 30-40 times more power than the town consumes, but not on demand. Several large biogas plant are operating in neighbouring parishes that could be incorporated into the project to create a "renewables combi-power station" for the region, says the wind station's manager, Heinrich Bartelt. A demand-side response from consumers with the help of intelligent electricity metres could help reduce consumption peaks and save costs, he adds. Possibilities for underground hydro pumped storage plant in disused mines in the region are also being explored.

An Enercon 6 MW wind turbine operating at Druiberg since November has produced more than ten million kilowatt-hours in eight months, "showing that wind conditions in the Harz region in Saxony Anhalt approach the quality of those at the coast," says Bartelt.

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