Germany’s Black Forest region is home to about 30 hydroelectric power stations (Wasserkraftwerke). They use the slopes of the Black Forest mountains to produce electricity through hydroelectric power. A company called “Wasserkraftwerke Murg Breitwies Schlechtau GmbH & Co. KG” operates two of the hydroelectric power stations in the area. The advantages of hydroelectric power have always been predictability, controllability, and low costs when compared to other energy sources. CEO Martin Weißmann says “this allows us to contribute to the energy transition and help stabilize the grid.”
As a supporter of the idea behind decentralized energy sources and of Virtual Power Plants (VPP), it was an easy decision for Weißmann, who also teaches energy economics at the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, to become part of Next Kraftwerke’s VPP. His company’s hydroelectric power stations are linked to the VPP via GPRS and helps stabilize the grid during periods when too much electricity is available. When this happens, Weißmann’s power stations receives a signal from Next Kraftwerke and the unit’s system automatically lowers power production to relieve the grid.
Next Kraftwerke is also in charge of forecasting and trading power produced in the hydroelectric power stations. In order to trade power successfully, it is important that the forecast is as accurate as possible. Next Kraftwerke has developed its own algorithm for this purpose and uses it to optimize revenue for units such as the hydroelectric power plants.