Verbund Energie Nordschaumburg will initially launch two products on the market. Stadtwerke Wunstorf is responsible for marketing the “green” electricity and green gas products, as confirmed by Managing Director Henning Radant. The municipal utility is responsible, among other things, for operational management, the annual financial statements and invoices.
Stadtwerke will have a 26 percent stake in the new company, the Lower Saxony municipalities of Nenndorf (43 percent) and Sachsenhagen (26 percent) and the community energy cooperative Schaumburg with 5 percent.
Established in January
Radant is particularly pleased that the citizens’ energy cooperative is becoming part of the cooperation. Because their green electricity from solar and four large wind turbines will be consumed locally in the future. To do this, the municipal utilities include the systems in their balancing group and secure their regional origin by means of certificates. The guarantees of origin come from the energy supplier Uniper, which also manages the balancing group.
After the first consultations took place in 2020, all the necessary committees in Nenndorf and Sachsenhagen as well as the citizens’ energy cooperative have now given their approval. In January, those involved want to go to the notary and found the company, as announced by Radant. The name is based on the region of Nordschaumburg, in which both communities are located
Payback by 2024
The sales activities of the energy network are to start from April 2022. In addition to green electricity, the company also sells “green” gas. This is possible thanks to certificate trading. The municipal utilities use the provider KlimaInvest here. “We are still waiting for the ‘go’ from the municipal supervisory authority of the Nordschaumburg district,” explains Radant. The future website, a tariff calculator and advertising campaigns are already in preparation.
“We have built three scenarios: In the middle case, we would be in the green after three years (end of 2024). In the worst case, only in eight years,” said the Stadtwerke managing director. In three years’ time, those involved want to consult again.
1000 to 1500 customers
In the best case scenario, the network would pay off in two years. But the scenario is rather unrealistic. “In the conservative estimate, we are counting on 1,000 to 1,500 customers each for gas and electricity within the first three years,” says Radant, explaining the economic considerations. The region currently has around 28,000 inhabitants, half of whom are electricity customers and a quarter are gas customers.
If successful, further energy services and advice could follow. The installation of e-charging stations is strategically conceivable. The same applies to wall boxes and rooftop PV systems. SW Wunstorf will operationally implement all projects. The participation in a new citizen solar system of the cooperative is also under discussion.
Electricity from community wind farm
“With the citizens’ energy cooperative, we now have a partner by our side who generates green energy for us,” says Radant, describing the advantages of the cooperation. “So far we have not had any regenerative energy sources in our portfolio.”
Verbund gets its green electricity from the local community wind farm Beckedorf / Riepen. The joint congregations act as ambassadors who ensure acceptance among the citizens. The Stadtwerke Wunstdorf, on the other hand, have the know-how for implementation.
The biggest challenge in founding the company was political conviction, says Radant. The communities have no employees in the future society. A managing director and an authorized signatory are legally responsible. However, the actual business is handled by the employees of Stadtwerke Wunstorf.
It is a virtual cooperation model that appears to customers as a single company. “Our partners quickly recognized the advantages of this model”, the Stadtwerke manager sums up. (jk)