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Siemens to expand smart grid business with new JV

Image: Siemens.

Image: Siemens.

Siemens has signed a new joint venture agreement with German decentralised power expert Allgäuer Überlandwerk (AUW) to expand on its existing smart grid business.

The deal, signed last week, will see Siemens acquire a 49% stake in AUW’s egrid applications and consulting subsidiary on the back of its contribution to two formative studies focused on incorporating renewables into local energy networks in Germany.

Once complete, the JV will provide consultancy services for distribution grid operations on top of its existing offerings which the companies said focus on “intelligence instead of copper” solutions.

The JV will work extensively in helping grid operators incorporate large amounts of variable generation capacity into their networks through intelligent controls and management systems.

The deal came about after both companies worked on the highly successful Integration of Renewable Energy and Electromobility (IRENE) and IREN2 trials, which helped balance the electricity network in the German town of Wildpoldsried, where renewable generation outstripped demand by nearly five times.

Siemens and AUW were two of a number of parties which helped to build a smart grid in the town, helping balance power generation and consumption to keep the grid both stable and operational.

Stating that the research projects “far exceeded” expectations Michael Schneider, head of power technologies international at Siemens Energy management, said they were an “ideal starting point” for the new JV.

“Other grid operators will now be able to profit from our distributed infeed and storage solutions. It’s from real-life practice and for real-life practice. Together with Allgäuer Überlandwerk, we are thus actively supporting the transition to a new energy mix,” Schneider added.

Meanwhile Bernhard Rindt, managing director of the egrid applications & consulting unit, added that the business had demonstrated “very positive growth” in its first year.

“With Siemens as our partner, we will be able to expand this knowledge and offer new joint solutions for the grid of the future,” he said.