Town in Germany Uses 100% Renewable Energy for an Hour as It Disconnects from Grid

None of the town's 7,500 residents noticed the switch to renewable energy usage.
Fabienne Lang

The twinkling Christmas lights kept on shining brightly, and not a lamp flickered when the town of Bordesholm in Germany switched its power supply over to renewable energy. 

Just last week the 7,500 inhabitants of Bordesholm became the first residents in all of Germany to go 100% renewable for an entire hour. They were completely disconnected from the power grid.

After the hour the town was reconnected, and not a single person could have noticed the seamless switch.


How easy is it to switch to only renewable energy?

The power supply in Bordesholm was enabled by a 10 MW storage system as well as the Sunny Central Storage battery inverters made by SMA Solar Technology AG (SMA). 

The battery system assists to stabilize power supply and integrate renewable energy, but of course, it also provides a reduction in carbon emissions.  Moreover, it was designed to be a part of an "independent local grid" with complete islanding capabilities. This design comes in handy when power outages occur, as well as helping to fire up the local grid into operation. 

"This successful trial is an important milestone in the energy transition," said Boris Wolff Executive Vice President Business Unit Large-Scale and Storage Solutions at SMA.

"It demonstrated that renewable energies can supply power without impacting system stability. In fact, our Sunny Central Storage battery inverters and SMA Hybrid Controller supply the island grid with even greater stability and power quality than the utility grid," continued Wolff.

The fact that no one noticed the switch from the power grid to renewable energy and back was a feat in itself.

Local energy supplier, Versorgungsbetriebe Bordesholm (VBB) utility managing director Frank Gunther said that the trial was an "impressive demonstration of how it is already possible and economically profitable to systematically expand renewables along with the required storage capacities without endangering supply reliability whatsoever."

It's a fantastic display as it shows renewable energies could be used to provide energy to entire towns at a time.

"The disconnection, the island grid operation, and the re-synchronization with the utility grid went without a hitch. The storage system supplied the town’s entire electricity demand which could thus be supplied exclusively from renewable energies," said SMA system development engineer Paul Robert Stankat.

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