C/sells - The energy system of the future in the "solar arch" in southern Germany

Motivation & Objectives

Alongside the expansion of renewable energies, the digitalisation of the energy sector features the next major trend which will lead to a radical modification of today’s energy system and the role of its participating actors.

During the joint project C/sells – The future energy system in the “solar arch” in southern Germany – possible paths towards an intelligent energy supply system of the future will be demonstrated. More than 70 project partners related to research, energy business, grid operation, consulting and technology, have committed themselves to find new approaches for a future energy system in the southern German states of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and Hesse. The project takes place within four years. For further information about the project please visit www.csells.de.LOGO SINTEG Schaufenster Intelligente Energie

C/sells is part of the funding programme “Smart Energy Showcases – Digital Agenda for the Energy Transition” (SINTEG) of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The goal of SINTEG is to develop and demonstrate exemplary solutions for a climate-friendly, secure and efficient energy supply with high proportions of renewable power generation on the basis of wind and solar energy in large model regions. SINTEG focuses on the intelligent interconnection of generation and consumption by using innovative technologies and procedures, in particular smart grids as well as pioneering grid and storage technologies. The solutions developed should serve as best-practice models for a broad implementation.

In the context of C/sells, the Research Center for Energy Economics (FfE) is testing and evaluating the implementation of an efficient and robust smart grid infrastructure within its pilot project. At the same time, the project is designed to determine the potential of flexibility options and improve the integration of electricity generated from renewable sources. Thus, methodological approaches are developed which aim for answering the following key questions:

  • How can a digitalized, ICT-based infrastructure be taken as a chance to support a successful realization of a solar-based energy system as part of the Energiewende?
  • How to employ flexibility concepts to foster the integration of electricity generated from renewable energies and what surplus will they generate for municipal utilities and distribution system operators?
  • Which methods and concepts have stand the field test and may serve as a blueprint for broad use and implementation?




Base Data

The data-set for C/sells is based on elaborated data of the regionalised energy model called FREM which was developed at the FfE. In C/sells, FREM is extended with highly detailed geographic data which allows evaluating flexibility options especially for distribution system operators. Moreover, existing data will be incorporated so as to improve model-based forecasting and aggregation methods.


Field test

Through scientific monitoring, the rollout of smart grid components in Altdorf near Landshut will provide valuable insights into the added value of an intelligent interconnected supply infrastructure. Furthermore, the module serves as a basis for implementing new incentive mechanisms. In a first test run, the regional distribution system operator Bayernwerk in collaboration with further project partners are in charge of organizing the implementation of 1,500 smart meters and 150 smart control components in the model region of Eastern Bavaria.



The regionalised quantification of flexibility represents the core of this module: On the one hand the need of flexibility in distribution grids is assessed by conducting load flow calculations via the FfE-tool called “Gridsim”. On the other hand the goal is to identify to what extent flexibility options will be able to make a contribution towards optimized grid operation.



In this module a series of mechanisms for integrating the range of flexibility options from a techno-economic and regulatory view point with a particular focus on the distribution grid level are evaluated. Furthermore, the module includes the implementation and evaluation of one distinctive integration model for integrating flexibility along the field test in Eastern Bavaria.


System reactions

A digitalised infrastructure with all the changes related will bring a fundamental modification to the energy system. Among others, this module examines the system behaviour of so called “prosumer cells”. In addition, analysis of regionalised flexibility platforms and smart grid infrastructure are being conducted in terms of their feedback effects on the energy system and by evaluating them in a holistic way.


Recommended actions

Best practice guidelines for various groups of stakeholders will be developed so that the first outcomes of C/sells can be realised already during the project period. The guidelines include recommended actions that address issues concerning the challenges of digitalisation and show a clear way forward into a digitalised and sustainable energy future.


Regional coordination

For an efficient, coordinated and tailored project process in a large consortium the overall project management introduced so called regional coordination centres for each of the three participating federal states. The FfE represents the central contact for the Bavarian project partners and is in charge of distributing a regional C/sells identity as well as embedding the project results into a Bavarian policy framework.

Intelligente Wärme München

Intelligent heating concept for Munich

For this C/sells project the goal is the establishment of an intelligent heating and cooling supply system in Munich. Such a system is characterised by the synchronised scheduling of electric power / heat generation and consumption. The tailored adjustment of electricity consumption of existing power-based decentralised heating and cooling supply solutions will be coordinated by intelligent metering systems. In the course of the project a total of 1,000 power2heat components will be integrated into the virtual power plant of the Stadtwerke München (Munich municipal utilities). Further information kann be found here.



project overview of the ffe activities

Figure 1: Project overview of the FfE aktivities in C/sells

Key findings:

The expected project results can be summarised as follows:

  • By introducing uniform standards for smart grid components and guidelines supporting intelligent grid operation, clear recommendations can be derived for the technical implementation of a reliable and sustainable infrastructure.
  • An atlas of flexibility serves as a convenient tool for visualizing and characterizing the regional potential of already existing flexibility options with a particular focus on their contribution to grid stability in distribution grids.
  • Developing and testing different business models and incentive mechanisms on the basis of an open and transparent flexibility platform will create an understanding on how flexibility options can be incorporated to ensure optimized integration of renewable power while using existing infrastructure for ensuring maximum efficiency.
  • Eventually, the findings will be translated into recommendad actions specifically addressing individual stakeholder groups. Therefore, so called “smart grid guidelines” are prepared in the form of stakeholder-specific guidebooks that can be generally understood and will be made accessible for the participating actors of the communities.

Funding and projekt partners:

The content described here will be realised as part of the joint project C/sells under coordination of the FfE. Funding is provided by the funding programme “Smart Energy Showcases – Digital Agenda for the Energy Transition” (SINTEG) of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (funding code: 03SIN121 and 03SIN120).

Further support is granted by the Bayernwerk AG, Intel Deutschland GmbH, die SWM Services GmbH, the Stadtwerke Augsburg Energie GmbH and Stadtwerke Augsburg Netze GmbH. This includes financial resources, but also data and individual practical experience. All project findings will be also evaluated by the above-mentioned cooperation partners with due regard to the implementation potential in their respective supply districts.


intel bayernwerk
swaNetze swm


Project coordinators:

Dipl.-Ing. Simon Köppl

Andreas Zeiselmair, M. Sc.

Thomas Estermann, M. Sc.


Further Information:


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