Electricity grid – innovative hybrid grid and grid automation

The use of natural and renewable energy sources will be prioritized. These actions aim to lower primary energy requirements by 40 to 50 % and increase renewable energy by 30 %.


Implemented measures in the demo cities

Partners in Bolzano will implement an Urban Service-Oriented Sensible Grid (USOS-grid) system in the South West district for improved energy distribution control. Measures include:

  • Recharge points for vehicles and bicycles;
  • Meteorological stations for local climate condition monitoring;
  • Smart retrofitting of the public lighting system.

In Innsbruck, the following measures were implemented:

  • IKB smart city lab
    The intension is to create a Smart District which implements different demonstration measures to form an innovative hybrid energy grid (a so called smart grid). Existing buildings are integrated and several decentralized energy producers using renewable energy are involved. Different technologies such as CHP, heat pumps,  power to heat, waste heat recovery, battery storage, photovoltaic, demand side management or grid automation are installed to manage supply-demand within the IKB-Smart-citylab with consideration of the input parameters: outside temperature, energy and cost efficiency, CO2 emissions. Some components have already been implemented (Stand June 2018). For example, all photovoltaic systems with the exception of one plant have already been completed. In addition, five charging points for electric vehicles have already been installed.
    Another focus is the design of the show room for visitors and guided tours. The intention is to reach as many people as possible with the showroom. Overall, an energy experience path is to be created on the site.
Ground plan of the IKB show room © IKB
View of the IKB show room © IKB


  • Heating with waste heat (heat recovery from the transformer UW Mitte)
    The heat pump with innovative waste heat utilization from transformation station was implemented at the IKB office building in the centre of Innsbruck and contributes considerably to the heat supply of the building. The existing heating system of the building was done by two 20 year old gas boilers. Nearby this building, there is a transformer substation with several indoor transformers. The aim was to substitute the gas boilers by installing a heat pump and use the waste heat from these indoor transformation stations with air/water heat exchanger so that an intervention of the oil cooling circuits is not needed. The implementation was finished in November 2016.
Heat pumps © IKB
Info board “Heating with waste heat” © IKB


Challenges & solutions for the installation of an innovative hybrid grid

Not only technical but also social, legal and organisational challenges had to be faced and overcome by the SINFONIA partners and energy providers IKB, Tigas, Alperia and Municipality of Bolzano.

Keymessages for the successful implementation of innovative hybrid grid measures

Based on the experiences & findings by relevant stakeholders in Innsbruck & Bolzano the following key-messages were drafted:

Key-messages for smart points from Bolzano 

  • Do not start working on the project details before having a clear list of services offered to citizens by the Integrated Smart Points.
  • At the very beginning of a project, administer questionnaires to survey the needs and desires of citizens in order to define the list of services offered by Smart Points.
  • Realize the smart multifunctional Totem Smart Point capable of delivering truly useful services for citizenship.
  • Study in advance how to integrate the new smart grid into the current monitoring systems of the city.
  • Think of an attractive and user friendly design of the smart point as a landmark in the city.

Key-messages for applied technical measures from Innsbruck

  • Keep in mind that utilities are bound to general laws as well as to additional national regulations.
  • Reasonable effort is necessary for data transfer (e. g. personnel costs, server rental) – this should be clarified in the very beginning of the project.
  • In order to avoid differences and friction during implementation, it is essential to define clear responsibilities and competences within the project consortium before starting technical implementations (for e. g. costs, material, equipment, execution).
  • Recording of data is a very sensitive process. It is recommendable to draft contracts between involved parties. For drafting such contracts enough time has to be budgeted.
  • Besides the consideration of legal challenges a technical analysis of the current situation is essential.
  • Considering legal regulations and the state of technology, smart grid and district heating can be implemented without major problems.