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Stromnetz Berlin GmbH, the capital's distribution system operator, announced at today's annual press conference that in 2015 it will be making the largest single investment in its 130 year history: In Charlottenburg, one of the most densely populated districts of Berlin, a highly modern cable node will be constructed at a cost of EUR 72 million with new medium and high voltage cables and remotely manageable substations, to meet the demands of the ever-expanding metropolis in decades to come. This plan is an investment in Stromnetz Berlin's core aim: to make the city's distribution grid the smartest metropolitan grid in Germany.
Alongside investments in infrastructure, Stromnetz Berlin has created the basis for a new, good-value electromobility tariff which distributors can offer their customers. The special features of this tariff are a reduced franchise fee and lower grid usage charges. It is intended to make driving electric vehicles more attractive and to encourage larger numbers of drivers to "switch over". "An intelligent grid can only become really smart when it's recognised and used as such by customers. It is not a 'one way street'. However, to make it work we have to create incentives," explains Dr Helmar Rendez, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Stromnetz Berlin GmbH.
All in all, expenditure this year for network infrastructure totals EUR 288 million. As in previous years, roughly 70 per cent of this outlay will go to companies located in Berlin and Brandenburg. Although all of the network operator's large projects are awarded by European tender, local trade firms and industrial firms often win the bids.
Against the backdrop of the current Olympics campaign "We want the Games! Berlin for Olympia", led by the Berlin Senate and Berlin-based partners, Rendez's position is clear: "The capital is ready to host the Olympics and so is our grid. We will do all we can to help the city bring the 2024 Games to Berlin."
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