Erdgas Südwest is a regional energy supplier that employs around 130 staff. The products include natural gas, biogas and alternative energy in flexible combinations. Innovative and ecologically sensible energy solutions that offer convincing efficiency and attractive economy are key focal points.
At the same time, environmental protection, research and training are not left out. Through the ProNatur initiative, Erdgas Südwest supports numerous campaigns in those areas and actively involves its employees. Netze-Gesellschaft Südwest mbH, the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, safely and reliably operates the roughly 3,200 km of gas pipeline in 95 communities in North Baden, Upper Swabia, and the Swabian Mountains. In so doing, it supplies 69,000 grid customers with eco-friendly energy.
The law in Germany requires that if a power generation plant as defined by the Renewable Energy Act (Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz, EEG) has a capacity of more than 500 kW, the energy produced must be marketed directly on the energy exchange. From 2016 that will apply to plants with a size of only 100 kW. That presents the plant operators with major challenges because the renewable energies have very volatile or fluctuating availabilities in some cases. Direct marketing therefore requires appropriate technologies and specialist knowledge. That is a service that Erdgas Südwest offers to plant operators.
Current weather data is used to precisely predict the expected amount of electricity and market it accordingly on the energy exchange. To be able to operate economically, the forecast and the actually amount of energy generated must be as close as possible to each other. In addition, the energy generation plants must be remotely controllable as defined by the EEG.
That means that the actual feed-in rate can be read off at any time and regulated as required. This is where Erdgas Südwest makes use of the SAE control box and telecontrol technology. The SAE complete solution provides all the necessary components that a system has to provide for direct marketing, i.e.
As well as several combined heat and power plants of the appropriate size, Erdgas Südwest has recently added the first solar farm to its direct marketing portfolio. Other biogas, photo-voltaic and selected wind turbine installations are to follow. In that way, the company is following its vision of “creating a future naturally”. On its way to becoming a local energy partner, Erdgas Südwest saw renewable energies as a potential field of activity for itself early on. “Renewable energy generation and energy consumption have to mesh together like the gears of a clock movement for the full potential of the energy reforms to be utilised“, explains Ralf Biehl, chief executive of Erdgas Südwest. As part of their “energy from here to you” campaign, the company offers biogas, eco-friendly electricity and individual energy solutions. With concepts such as autonomous energy supply and bio-hybrid energy storage, Erdgas Südwest uses renewable energies efficiently, helps reduce climate change and makes private households, businesses and communities more independent of the global energy market.