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Social Innovation

Supporting regional power services:
Energy solutions contributing to prosperous city development

In a collaborative creation partnership with ENTEGA AG, a municipal utility in the German city of Darmstadt, Hitachi is conducting the development and verification of solutions that optimize the energy trading and the operational planning of power generation facilities. Germany's municipal utilities focus their business on certain geographic regions to provide them with public infrastructure services. In addition to optimizing energy trading, collaborative creation with such utilities also achieves the efficient performance of load regulation. Such cooperation will contribute to the improvement of services for local residents.

Video: Collaborative creation with ENTEGA AG

Optimizing the energy trading and operational planning of regional utilities

Germany has about 1,500 municipal utilities, known as "Stadtwerke." Stadtwerke utilities are regional public infrastructure service providers whose shareholders are local governments. Among these, 900 Stadtwerke utilities provide the maintenance and operation of various public services such as power supply (power generation, distribution, retail), water & sewage, gas supply, waste treatment, city transportation, and communications, in this way contributing to local communities through the use of regional resources, job creation, and other consequences of their activities. Especially ENTEGA AG - which is based in Darmstadt, a German city located in the southern part of the state of Hesse, about 30 km south of Frankfurt - is one of Germany's top Stadtwerke utilities with over one million customers.

Germany has seen an expansion of renewable energy ratio. This, plus the legal separation and ownership separation of electric power production/supply and the creation of a comprehensive energy futures market, both of which were carried out after the full liberalization of energy retail in 1998, have resulted in the growth of trading volume in the wholesale energy market. The purpose of the Stadtwerke utilities is to continuously provide essential infrastructure services to their respective regions as private-sector businesses. These services are aimed at providing sustainable services and revitalization for local residents. One management issue that they faced was how to maximize earnings in the energy business.

To address this, Hitachi utilized its vast experience and expertise in the energy field and in control technologies to provide to its subsidiary company with proprietary software that simultaneously optimizes energy trading and the operational planning of power generation facilities. The use of this software assists in the stable management of the Stadtwerke utilities by enabling energy trading plans that are linked to energy market prices, to be developed simultaneously with power generation facility operational plans that take into account energy price volatility. These plans form the basis of energy trading that achieves sales growth and increased earnings. Such collaborative creation with customers will contribute to enhancing the quality of life of people in Germany.

  • Release Date: March 2018
  • Solutions By: Power Business Unit, Hitachi, Ltd.
  • Client: ENTEGA AG
  • Project Description: Power supply, energy trading, heat supply, power distribution, telecommunications, water, waste treatment, and other infrastructure entities