eoliennes dans un champ

New smart grid to connect Germany and France

  • Smart Border Initiative of energy companies Enedis and innogy convinces Franco-German Council of Ministers
  • Project enables cooperation in the Saarland/Lorraine area

At today’s meeting of the Franco-German Council of Ministers in Paris, the Smart Border Initiative of the energy companies Enedis and innogy was included in a group of projects that are particularly relevant for future cooperation between the two countries. The aim of the Smart Border Initiative is cross-border cooperation in the Saarland/Lorraine region. Enedis and innogy have applied to the European Commission for the status of Project of Common Interest (PCI) for their initiative, so that the first cross-border smart grid can be implemented at distribution grid level.
“The energy system transformation is a pan-European challenge and does not stop at national borders. We are therefore very much looking forward to the decision and in particular to the implementation of the Smart Border Initiative with our French partner,” says Hildegard Müller, COO Grid & Infrastructure of innogy SE.

The Prime Minister of Saarland Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer welcomes the decision of the German-French Council of Ministers. “The Smart Border Initiative is a really exciting project. The Saarland and our French neighbouring region Lorraine will thus become a future laboratory for a European energy system transformation.” Kramp-Karrenbauer also sees the initiative as an ideal complement to the research project Designetz, in which the companies innogy and VSE play a leading role.

The project duration of the Smart Border Initiative is set at four years. The project volume will be around 35 million euros. In addition to the smart grid, the project includes the modules of smart mobility and energy efficiency/sector coupling. Dr. Joachim Schneider, Senior Vice President Technology & Operations of Innogy SE: “The project will open up new opportunities for us in cross-border energy supply. Together with Enedis and the innogy subsidiaries in Saarland, VSE and energis, we will develop cross-border processes that can become a model in Europe.

In the next step, the companies Enedis and innogy as well as VSE and energis will get involved in the concrete planning and identify a suitable region in the Saarland/Lorraine area for the construction of the cross-border medium-voltage connection. This will enable large wind power and photovoltaic plants in Germany and France to be used more efficiently in future and better coordinated with consumers and storage facilities on both sides of the border. In this context, cross-border data management, regulatory procedures and common standards will also be developed.