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Blockchain and batteries will assist German grid operator in integrating renewables

A “first of its kind” collaboration between energy storage provider Sonnen and transmission system operator TenneT will integrate solar and batteries into energy networks in Germany using blockchain technology.

TenneT, headquartered in the Netherlands and responsible for the Dutch high voltage grid and interconnections to neighbouring countries, is also one of Germany’s four transmission system operators (TSOs) through a subsidiary, TenneT TSO.

In order to ascertain their efficacy in integrating renewable resources onto the grid, the TSO will link together Sonnen’s residential storage batteries and blockchain technology developed by IBM. TenneT and Sonnen claimed this morning that this is the first time this has been tried anywhere in the world.

TenneT TSO’s CEO Urban Keussen said that the addition of wind and solar to networks while nuclear and fossil fuels are diminishing in Germany presents “significant challenges”.

“We must be flexible with regards to our management of energy production, namely solar and wind, that is inconsistent and highly contingent on the weather. Utilising blockchain technology offers us new ways to network even locally distributed systems both safely and intelligently across multiple regions with one provider,” Keussen said.

“This helps us to limit the use of network-stabilising measures, such as the costly regulation of wind farms.”

TenneT is also using larger batteries on its networks, with one company official describing batteries as an “excellent alternative” to conventional power plants in providing grid-balancing services at the unveiling of a 10MW lithium-ion storage system in Holland in early 2016.

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