BMW has never been one to maintain the status quo as it applies to technology, and with mobility taking a distinctly electrical turn over the past several years, the company is innovating in areas beyond their traditional focus. BMW Group manufacturing facilities located in Dingolfing and Landshut, Germany, now boast what are being referred to as energy control stations, which have the ability to dampen and even stabilize grid supply and demand. Said to be available in near-real time, the systems can respond to changes in renewable energy production when adverse weather moves in and causes a surplus of power, while times of heavy demand can also be dealt with by releasing previously stored reserves.

The idea behind the venture is to make renewable energy sources more feasible on a large spectrum, by working to reduce and eventually eliminate the negative effects caused by periods of downtime. In the grand scheme of things, Dr. Joachim Kolling, head of BMW Energy Services says, “The flexibility we provide paves the way for the CO2-free electric mobility of tomorrow.”

The energy-control stations are part of a larger network of energy facilities and installations located at various other sites. Management is handled on an intelligent basis, and the arrays of generators are able to either release or absorb energy into the grid as is dictated by the current market. More specifically, a combined heat-and-power plant (CHP) is at work at Dingolfing, while ventilation at BMW Group Plant Landshut is said to offer flexibility in terms of on-the-fly adjustment that is industry-leading in nature. The i3 battery factory in Leipzig is also part of the network, which is collectively referred to as the BMW power pool.

Power management has always been of high importance at large manufacturing campuses like the variety BMW runs around the globe, and while staying ahead of the competition in this arena might seem advantageous for obvious reasons, it’s also benefiting the future of society as a whole when it comes to this new approach to stabilizing the green grid.—Alex Tock

[Photos courtesy of BMW Group.]

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