Produced regionally, consumed regionally

Research project improves regional green electricity distribution

2023/05/03 by

As part of the Grid4Regio project, researchers from the Laboratory of Electrical Energy Supply using Renewable Energies (E5) have developed a new energy management concept together with e-netze Südhessen and Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences: Electricity is not distributed via the supra-regional power lines as has been the case in the past, but is consumed as directly as possible on site – thus advancing the energy transition at the level of the regional power grids.

If green electricity no longer has to be transported over long distances, but can be consumed at the point of generation, this is a decisive step towards the energy transition. This is because the increased regional use of green electricity relieves the already increasingly busy supra-regional power lines and reduces grid losses. It also prevents the partial shutdown of renewable generation plants when the green electricity produced in the region exceeds the consumption in the region.

Safe and reliable grid operation

At the E5 Lab, the scientists carried out the theoretical studies and grid calculations necessary for successful project implementation. Based on the results, it was possible to define criteria and, in turn, application cases that guarantee safe and reliable grid operation.

Currently, electricity distribution works according to the following principle: If the feed-in power of a wind farm, for example, exceeds the required consumption power in the regional medium-voltage grid, the excess electricity is automatically fed into the supraregional high-voltage grid – and distributed further. Why not first serve the consumers in the region themselves, without the diversions via the supra-regional grid?

Switching recommendations for on-site distribution

Based on the existing infrastructure and the flexibility potentials in the neighbouring medium-voltage grids, the scientists investigated various scenarios of how the renewable energy generated in the region can be redistributed as needed with the help of switching recommendations. The goal: to change the topology of neighbouring regional medium-voltage grids depending on the electricity supply.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jutta Hanson

To achieve the climate goals, the energy transition must be accelerated. We not only have to strengthen our grids, but also use existing potential. In Grid4Regio, we show that simple grid topology changes can integrate more renewable energies into the electrical energy supply grid. This accelerates the implementation of the energy transition and relieves the burden on the end consumer as well as the grid operator.

For this purpose, the direction of power flow in particular had to be recorded and analysed. The results from the Grid4Regio project show that a grid-serving use of flexibility from generators, storage facilities and loads makes economic sense.

Theory in the practical test

These theoretical findings can now be put into practice. An implementation strategy was developed and analysed for the Babenhausen / Groß-Umstadt region, which was then successfully used and evaluated in a field test. In concrete terms, this means that, for example, surplus energy from the Binselberg wind farm is specifically diverted to the solar settlement in Groß-Umstadt/Richen or to a residential area in Babenhausen – regionally generated, regionally consumed.


As part of the Grid4Regio research project, a new energy management system has been developed with which renewable energy generated in the region can be consumed locally – thereby decisively advancing the energy transition at the level of the electricity grids. The project partners are e-netze Südhessen, TU Darmstadt and Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences. From the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology (etit), the E5 department of Professor Jutta Hanson is significantly involved in the development. The project is funded by the state of Hesse and the European Union.