The smarter E AWARD 2022: Rewarding Outstanding Projects for the Energy Transition

Press Release – Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Munich/Pforzheim, May 10, 2022 The grid booster battery energy storage system (BESS) Grid Scale from Fluence Energy, a container-based stationary storage system from Fenecon and the SirriS solar powered irrigation system from the Center for Renewable Energy Services Limited have been named as the winners in the Outstanding Projects category at The smarter E AWARD 2022. Within the Smart Renewable Energy category, Fluence Energy wowed the panel of judges with its Fluence IQ software platform. The Fronius International Wattpilot and the DA/RE initiative from TransnetBW were also rewarded. The smarter E AWARD was presented at a ceremony along with two other prizes for innovation, the Intersolar AWARD and the ees AWARD. The winners and finalists will be showcasing their innovations at The smarter Europe 2022 at Messe München from May 11 to 13.

Solar Promotion GmbH

The international panel of experts judged the nominees for The smarter E AWARD 2022 and picked out exceptional solutions for the future supply of power and heat as worthy winners in the Outstanding Projects category of this innovation prize for the energy industry. They are all exemplary future-oriented and unique initiatives. The Smart Renewable Energy category celebrates sector coupling solutions as well as smart management tools for energy systems. The winners were awarded their prizes at an award ceremony with an international audience on May 10, 2022. Anyone wanting to meet the award winners and finalists in person will be able to do so at The smarter E Europe 2022 at Messe München from May 11 to 13.

The winners in the Outstanding Projects category:

Fluence Energy GmbH: Grid-scale BESS
A Siemens and AES company formed in 2018 and headquartered in Virginia, USA, Fluence Energy develops energy storage products and services as well as digital applications for renewables and storage. Fluence has been running its pilot project at LITGRID in Vilnius in Lithuania since 2021. In a world first, a battery-based energy storage system has been acquired by a transmission grid operator for integration into a transmission system. The grid booster storage system is highly responsive, with a processing time of 87 milliseconds and the capability to switch from charging to generation mode in 70 milliseconds. This enables operators to make better use of the existing cable infrastructure by staggering power transmission.

The panel of judges agreed that equipping the grid with this technology paves the way for greater energy independence and decarbonization for Lithuania and other regions. They commended the important, pioneering idea of expanding grid capacity with batteries, which will gain even more traction as the proportion of renewable energies increases.

Fenecon GmbH: Tokai 2 project – a container-based stationary storage system
Founded in southern Germany in 2011, Fenecon produces electrical storage and energy management systems for domestic, commercial and industrial settings. The company has been recognized for its stationary storage system made up of a combination of new, zero-use car batteries that are kept as spare parts and second-life batteries from Renault electric vehicles. The system is installed in containers and is used as a primary balancing reserve for grid stabilization. The future goal is to also use the battery storage capacity to offer energy management services to industrial customers and utility companies. Each container is equipped with 72 Renault ZOE batteries – each with a capacity of 40 kilowatt hours. The batteries are connected to a storage unit with a capacity of 2.88 megawatt hours. The containers provide stable and battery-saving operating conditions.

The panel of judges stressed the clever combination of spare parts and second-life batteries, noting the huge potential of the application given that the e-mobility sector is expanding at a rapid rate. They were of the opinion that extracting the most value out of the raw materials used to manufacture the batteries would deliver impressive economic benefits.

Center for Renewable Energy Services Limited: SirriS
Founded in Bangladesh in 2015, the Center for Renewable Energy Services Limited (CRESL) has implemented its Smart Solar Irrigation System (SirriS) with the support of a grant fund from the World Bank. The system supplies solar power for sensor-controlled irrigation pumps that automatically control how water is distributed across fields, preventing over-irrigation and reducing water and diesel consumption. A pay-as-you-go system provides small-scale farmers with operating models that enable self-sufficiency in the long term. The optimized irrigation process takes into account the different crop types and the pH value of the soil.

The panel of judges was impressed by the high environmental impact of this innovative approach that addresses major global challenges surrounding agriculture, water usage and energy, especially in areas vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Controlled by smart web and mobile applications, this scalable solution offers compelling economic, ecological and social benefits according to the experts.

The winners in the Smart Renewable Energy category:

Fluence Energy, LLC: Fluence IQ
Formed in 2018 and headquartered in Virginia, USA, Fluence specializes in deploying and operating energy storage systems around the world. The new Fluence IQ digital platform enables renewable energy plant and storage system operators to generate automated bids for power supply and grid services. Fluence IQ uses artificial intelligence (AI) to calculate the best price at which plant operators can offer their services on bidding platforms, based on forecast parameters such as the weather, supply and demand over a 24-hour period. This makes it possible to optimize financial returns across portfolios of power generation plants and storage systems, while reducing the amount of manual input needed at the control centers.

The panel of judges applauded the intelligence of this AI-powered software-as-a-service project that relies on existing grids and highlighted the exemplary pricing model. They also identified huge potential in boosting storage integration into the power grid, especially in the context of e-mobility.

Fronius International GmbH (Austria): Wattpilot
Having been founded in 1945 in Austria, Fronius International now manufactures welding, solar energy and battery charging technologies at 36 sites around the world. The Fronius Wattpilot is an AC charging solution that enables users to charge their electric vehicles while optimizing the self-consumption of solar power. Wattpilot can automatically switch between a single-phase and three-phase electricity supply, offering optimized charging of electric vehicles from 1.38 kilowatts to 22 kilowatts. This wide range ensures that even small amounts of self-generated excess energy are put to use, which maximizes the amount of solar power in e-mobility applications. This wall box unit also has a built-in connection to power suppliers with variable tariffs, which means that vehicles can be charged when the electricity price is low.

On top of the price-performance ratio, the panel of judges commended the potential for this solution to be adopted by a broad segment of the population, which would contribute to the transition to renewable energy.

TransnetBW: DA/RE Initiative
The transmission grid operator TransnetBW operates the electricity transmission grid in Baden-Württemberg. The DA/RE (data exchange/redispatch) initiative is a cloud-based IT platform co-developed by TransnetBW and the distribution grid operator Netze BW. The Germany-wide initiative facilitates coordination between transmission and distribution grids across all voltage levels and encourages grid operators to take an active role in managing grid feed-in. One major selling point is that the digital platform coordinates measures to stabilize the grid and resolve congestion in a way that is decentralized and flexible. With the coordination process being streamlined, all stakeholders are able to fulfill a significant proportion of the new regulatory requirements of Redispatch 2.0.

The panel of judges agreed that the automated congestion forecasting will make collaboration between stakeholders more efficient and allow for the power grid to be managed more securely and cost-effectively. The experts believe this “extremely smart” project to be highly significant for the energy transition on the basis of the grid stabilization and security aspects.

Further information on the awards can be found at:

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