The system control centre in Wendlingen

The system control centre in Wendlingen

We've got the energy transition in our sights

The way we produce and use electricity is changing, particularly in view of the largest environmental project in Germany: the energy transition. Renewable energy is subject to the geographical characteristics of this country, as well as the wind and weather conditions. With this in mind, we are investing in elements such as grid expansion and new technologies. In order to support this development, we need a control centre that meets these new requirements and facilitates the flexible management of complex grids. This is the function of the system control centre in Wendlingen, one of the most advanced of its kind in all of Europe.

In the heart of the transmission grid

System operation engineers work around the clock at Wendlingen, the control centre for the TransnetBW transmission grid, to assure the balance between electricity generation and consumption in our grid area. The grid frequency of 50 Hertz must be maintained at all times – regardless of the strength of the wind or the amount of sunlight shining on the photovoltaic modules.

Area supplied with electricity 34.600 km²
Inhabitants 11 million
Control room 440m²
annual gross electricity consumption in Baden-Wuerttemberg 74 TWh
Electrical circuit of 220 and 380 kV 3.200 km
Large-screen laser projection 65 m²
  • Grid overview

    Our energy universe at a glance: display and monitoring of the switching state, voltage, power flows, or grid utilisation.

  • EAS European Awareness System

    This system helps us to collaborate effectively with transmission system operators in Germany and other countries. It allows us to monitor the overall grid conditions, observe the frequency and exchange capacities, and identify emerging problems as quickly as possible.

  • Geographical map of Baden-Württemberg

    Geographical overview of our grid showing current exchange capacities with the neighbouring domestic and international transmission system operators

  • System balance

    Overview of the current status of the reference frequency, the exchange capacity, the reference exchange and the load of import/ export in the control zone

  • Power plant generation

    Analysis tool for the input of renewable energy in Germany and in our control zone as well as the active and reactive power fed in from conventional power plants.

  • Photovoltaic energy and wind energy input

    Overview of the previous day’s forecast and the live values

  • Correction values from the international grid control cooperation

    Chart of the correction values provided by the International Grid Cooperation (IGCC) and its European partner organisations.

  • Load curves

    Information about the control zone load, vertical grid load and decentralised input in our control zone – for the current day, the previous day and the previous week

  • Grid control cooperation (NRV / IGCC)

    Display of the control band limits and the demand for secondary control power in Germany and the demand by TransnetBW

  • Power frequency control

    Overview of the current frequency, the power deviation and the grid control errors in our control zone

  • Network Operation Centre

    The system control centre is equipped with a highly available IT system and cutting-edge technology. This includes our own communication network for transmitting data in separate directions by means of various devices. The experts in this section monitor multiple network connections around the clock to guarantee their functionality.

  • Operational planning

    The operational planning section is responsible for the task of coordinating grid security, both within Germany and internationally. The primary tool for this purpose is an international association of transmission system operators. In close collaboration – yet with decentralised, individual responsibilities – the members of the association supply electricity securely to around 185 million people in ten countries, spanning across a surface area of 1.13 million km².

  • Grid management

    The grid management section manages and monitors the grid. In order to maintain security, the team follows the principle of the “n – 1 criterion”. This determines that any random component of grid operation – such as a power line or a transformer – may malfunction at any time without causing a disruption of the supply or further expansion of the problem.

  • System balance

    The system balance section is responsible for the schedule management as well as the power-frequency control for the German grid control association. This involves the drafting of plans known as energy roadmaps, which define how individual control zones must interact in order to maintain the grid frequency of 50 Hertz.

  • Canteen

    Work in the system control centre takes a lot of concentration. Everyone needs a break from time to time. Here, in the canteen, our employees can take a meal break – unless the gong sounds, which means that there has been an unexpected event in the grid. In that case, employees have to put their meal on hold. First, the electricity supply has to be restored.

X

This is where we control the entire grid and monitor wind and weather

Everything under control – for more than five decades

The development from a simple alarm screen to large-screen laser projection is symbolic of the history of the system control centre in Wendlingen: it is a story of technical progress. In over five decades, the grid control centre has been renovated or fully rebuilt several times. The goal has always been to guarantee a secure electricity supply.

1962 / 2017
  • 1961

    Accompanying the upswing in the economy, there is a sharp rise in electricity consumption. The demands on load distribution change. Against this backdrop, the then grid operator, Energieversorgung Schwaben, decides to build a new load distribution centre in Wendlingen.

  • 1962

    On 29 September, the first early shift starts in the new load distribution centre. The centre already had two workstations and a large alarm screen displaying schematic images of the power plants and transformer substations. At this time, the load distribution and control of the 110 kV and 220kV grids was conducted solely through switching instructions by telephone.

  • 1974

    The development of the grid is advancing more rapidly than expected: the first subsection of the 380 kV grid commences operation. At this time, the technical options for grid control have already been fully utilised. The operator, Energieversorgung Schwaben, thus decides to restructure the grid control system and automate it. A new system control centre is planned for the facility in Wendlingen.

  • 1977

    Due to modernisation, the load distribution centre is transferred to a provisional control room. To reduce the load on the system control centre during the renovations, smaller switching lines and control centres take over the task of controlling the 110 kV grid.

  • 1980

    After three years of renovations, the new system control centre commences operation on 23 May 1980. The load distribution section now starts to concentrate on the utilisation of the Energieversorgung Schwaben power plants and control of the 220 kV and 380 kV grids.

  • 1984

    For the first time, a real-time data processing system is used to monitor switching status. This means that the high-voltage grid is now controlled remotely from Wendlingen via a data processing computer – as opposed to the previous method of telephoning the local switching stations.

  • 1990

    Commissioning of the power-frequency control by Energieversorgung Schwaben.

  • 1990 - 1998

    Following the liberalisation of the electricity market, Energieversorgung Schwaben and Badenwerk merge to become EnBW. A new company, EnBW Transportnetze AG, is founded and the system control centre in Wendlingen takes over the responsibility for system management. The task of power plant utilisation is now performed by the power plant, EnBW Kraftwerksgesellschaft. The size of the grid doubles and the control centre in Wendlingen now monitors the electricity supply for the entire state of Baden-Württemberg. In addition, the system control centre is upgraded. Unlike the previous keyboard-controlled system, the new system that engineers now operate is based on computers with graphic user interfaces.

  • 1998 - 2001

    Cutting-edge IT technology is built in and the alarm board is replaced with a large projection screen. At the beginning of 2000, the new control room in Wendlingen commences operation. The data transfer from the system control centre for Badenwerk AG in Daxlanden takes another one and a half years – only then is the integration of the grids operated by Badenwerk AG and Energieversorgung Schwaben complete. With the integration of Neckarwerke Stuttgart AG into the EnBW Group, the centre in Wendlingen also assumes control of the transmission grid for Neckarwerke Stuttgart as the final step.

  • 2012

    A third continuously staffed workstation is added to the control room in Wendlingen. In addition to the workstations for the grid management and system balancing, an operational planner is also integrated into the existing control room. The operational planner takes on the new task of regional coordination of grid operation within the group known as the TSO Security Cooperation, a partnership between European transmission system operators with the purpose of coordinating their task more effectively.

  • 2015

    Growing demands on the system management of the transmission system operator due to the energy transition, higher specifications for the technical infrastructure and security can no longer be met with the existing system control centre. However, retrofitting would not be sufficient. As a result, a completely new facility is constructed in Wendlingen.

  • 2017

    The new system control centre is completed. Equipped with the latest technology, it is prepared for the challenges of grid operation in the era of energy transition. The new control room guarantees a secure electricity supply for Baden-Württemberg. Its day-to-day operation is determined by close collaboration with German and international neighbours as well as frequent utilisation of grid security interventions.

Our commitment to total grid security

Rainer Joswig has been supporting the development of the system control centre for decades. The new facility in Wendlingen built in 2017 is another important step in providing a secure energy supply in future – and thus also for a functioning economy and society.

The state of the energy industry is changing dramatically due to the energy transition. In our system control centre, we make sure that the electricity supply in Germany and Europe stays secure – even if the demands on grid management are increasing every day.

The state of the energy industry is changing dramatically due to the energy transition. In our system control centre, we make sure that the electricity supply in Germany and Europe stays secure – even if the demands on grid management are increasing every day.