As a municipal, certified utility company providing electricity, gas, water and heat, Stadtwerke Heide GmbH supplies around 35,000 residents, households and businesses, and operates a gas grid that is approx. 400 km in length. The Municipal Utilities combine competence in the fields of network operation, heat generation and supply, the storage and integration of renewable energy sources, the billing of end customers, the regulatory requirements of network usage fees and the supply of liquid fuels and natural gas. The Municipal Utilities are partners in “QUARREE100”, and, besides the existing grids, are responsible for the analysis of data, preparing information on consumption data in the segments of electricity, gas and water, and also providing information on the location and the efficiency of the infrastructure.
Activities in the real-world laboratory
In the “Green Heating” sub-project, Thüga and Heide Municipal Utilities plan to store up to 20 per cent hydrogen in a grid section of Heide Municipal Utilities. Their goal: to demonstrate in practice, that the components of a modern existing gas grid comply with all the requirements for storing hydrogen. They demonstrate that the heat supply can successively be converted to renewable gases. The project moreover provides empirical values on the supply characteristics of the new source of energy on the heating market.
“The Stadtwerke Heide GmbH has been working on innovative solutions for a secure and affordable energy- and heat supply for a long time. From our perspective, green hydrogen is the energy source for the future and will make the energy- and climate transformation possible in the first place. Our project “Grüner Heizen” in the Reallabor WESTKÜSTE100 makes a contribution to CO2 neutrality, which we desperately need.“
Long term vision
Additionally, fossil natural gas must be replaced in the medium term by CO2-reduced or neutral alternatives, in order to continue to use today’s natural gas grids with these alternatives. Against the backdrop of the enormous heating requirements in the winter months, an “all-electric” variant is not implementable. That goes for both the rural and the urban areas. A future energy transition solution without involving the natural gas grids would destroy a huge amount of national wealth, as most grids are in the hands of municipal companies. From that perspective precisely, increasing the hydrogen tolerance in the natural gas grids and the admixing of green hydrogen or synthetic natural gas, both of which can be stored considerably better than electricity, is the alternative with a future. At the WESTKÜSTE100 real-world laboratory, therefore, together with our highly competent partners, we are defining a route with genuine foresight.