Pioneer region for Smart Grids in Vorarlberg: International Connection

Pump-storage hydroelectricity plants in Vorarlberg should support the integration of renewable energies into the grid

The forced extension of renewable energies needs innovative concepts for grid operation and possibilities to store energy. Periods with a low supply of renewable energies should be rode out by stored energy. On the other hand energy stores should be charged in times with a higher energy supply. Pump-storage hydroelectricity plants make a contribution to compensate the fluctuation of renewable energies within the European grid alliance. Vorarlberger Illwerke is an energy supply company in Vorarlberg which cooperates since its formation with partners in Germany like the EnBW Energie Bade-Württemberg and so it has an efficient connection to the grids of its partners.

Illwerke supplies operating reserve and uses the flexibility of its plants for the short-term intra-day trade of electrical energy. The capacity of its hydro storage plants is used for the seasonal compensation of the spread between the demand and supply of electrical energy. Further pump-storage hydroelectricity plants of the company, which are important for the integration of renewable energies, are:

  • Kopswerkes II ( 2008)
  • Rodundwerk II (2011)
  • Obervermuntwerk II (at the planning stage)

Vehicle to Grid - VLOTTE

The long-term energy strategy of Vorarlberg intends the full transition of motorized, private transport to electric vehicles until 2050. This will lead to high impacts to the grid operation and so a bidirectional load- and energy-management will become more important. Bidirectional means that the energy flow occurs in two directions: from the grid to the electrical vehicle and in reverse. So the accumulators of electrical vehicles will be used for the storage of electrical energy and feed-in their energy into the grid in periods with a high demand.

Since 2008 in Vorarlberg the largest model test of Europe, called “VLOTTE” has been initiated. Within this project, 357 electrical vehicles, which use energy from renewable resources, are used. Further, smart applications for recharge and concepts for the energy management and grid operation are tested. To avoid instability of the supply voltage, the recharging of many cars at the same time has to be prevented. The grid operator has the possibility to control the recharging of electrical cars by a communication system which is installed within the cars and which notes the state of the accumulator. Within the follow-up project, called VLOTTE II, the project area should be extended.

Video 1 Project VLOTTE (german) VLOTTE ist Vorbild für Europa (german; source: illwerke VKW)

Involved within the project:

  • Federal State Government Vorarlberg
  • Vorarlberger Kraftwerke AG
  • Vorarlberger Elektroautomobil Planungs- und Beratungs GmbH
  • Continental AG

Smart Grids Week | Vorarlberg 2012

Between May21th and 25th the Smart Grids Week 2012 took place in Bregenz. A lot of national and international demonstration activities and results of research projects within the field of Smart Grids have been presented. The focus of conference was on the necessary flexibility of the electrical power system and issues about the energy storage. This event has been organized by the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology, the Federal State of Vorarlberg and the Vorarlberger Illwerke AG.

Movie about the “Smart Grids Week 2012 – field trip to biosphere park Großes Walsertal” (german; source: illwerke VKW)


Smart Grid test run in Vorarlberg - Bytes not excavators inside the Biosphere Park Grosses Walsertal

Approaches to a resource-conserving and SMART integration of renewable energy sources in rural areas
Forschungsforum 1/2012 Herausgeber: BMVIT
Englisch, 6 Seiten, kostenlos
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