Stromnetz Berlin, 50Hertz, Lichtblick and decarbon1ze aim to facilitate system service charging of e-vehicles
First implementation of a virtual balancing region / Drivers of electric vehicles can "take" their own electricity providers with them to other charging stations / Model offers more comfort and more fare-free charging when in transit
In future, drivers of electric vehicles will be able to select their desired tariff at public charging stations. In a joint pilot project, Stromnetz Berlin, transmission network operator 50Hertz, green electricity provider LichtBlick and the IT startup decarbon1ze are currently testing their underlying IT processes for the first time in Germany. The key concept behind the joint project is that electricity procurement at a public or semi-public charging station should no longer be exclusively linked to its operator, but enable users to take their own provider with them using their respective billing system. The respective volumes of electricity are allocated via a so-called "virtual balancing region" and settled by the balancing group of the customer's own electricity provider.
The joint project is taking place based on the "Network access rules to facilitate a charging process-based balance sheet allocation of energy volumes for electromobility (NZR-EMob)" as issued by the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) in 2021. According to this specification, the balancing options for charging current are to be extended in order to offer more freedom of choice for the supplier. One condition of the BNetzA is that the charging point operator can balance and bill each charging process precisely. A balancing region across the control area constitutes the financial basis for this.
From a technical perspective, the billing data at the charging station must be passed on to the network operators and the electricity provider when charging an electric vehicle. Only then can the electricity purchase be correctly booked in the balancing group.
Less control energy possible thanks to new model
Balancing groups have the market function of combining the generation and consumption of electricity of the relevant responsible parties. They are responsible for always ensuring a balance between production and purchasing on the one hand and consumption and sales on the other. If this balance cannot be maintained, for example due to short-term deviations in generation or consumption, the transmission system operator must use control energy for physical balancing. The more precise the data basis for the integration of consumers and producers of energy, the more effectively the balancing groups can be managed. This also reduces the required use of control energy by the transmission system operator.
Erik Landeck, Managing Director of Stromnetz Berlin: "In a few years’ time, recharging electric vehicles will be commonplace for many customers. As a distribution system operator, we make this technically possible by connecting the charging station to our network. Taking your own electricity provider with you also makes charging away from your own charging station easier and more attractive. We are delighted to be part of the first practical implementation across Germany and to be taking a new approach to balancing based on intelligent measurement systems."
Dr Dirk Biermann, Managing Director Markets and System Operations at 50Hertz: "We expect millions of electric vehicles to be on the road in our grid area and using the public charging infrastructure in the coming years. The better the data basis for charging processes, the more accurate the forecasts for charging behaviour. This, in turn, means transmission system operators can control the entire electrical system more safely and flexibly with an increasing proportion of renewable energies and use the enormous storage potential of electric vehicles."
Enno Wolf, Chief Operating Officer of LichtBlick: "For years, we have been working to create more competition at public charging stations. Only when drivers of electric vehicles have the option of choosing between different providers at the charging station can they also use innovative tariffs across the board. For green electricity providers such as LichtBlick, this also makes it possible to increase the share of renewable energies in the charging network. We are therefore delighted to be the first energy supplier in the decarbon1ze virtual balancing region to be able to supply customers with green electricity on the go."
Knut Hechtfischer, CEO decarbon1ze: "We are grateful we were able to implement the fundamentals of market communication with our market partners so quickly and agilely as an operator of the virtual balancing region. In this way, we are playing our part to ensure electricity customers will be able to charge their vehicles more often, wherever their location, and benefit from the tariffs. This will support new prosumer business models."