Wacken Open Air: vehicle-to-grid concept showcases future-oriented festival energy supply

In 2018, GP JOULE and ICS Festival Service, organisers of Wacken Open Air, established a strategic green energy and mobility partnership. As a pioneer and expert in sectoral cross-linkage, GP JOULE once again focused on sustainable energy production and use in 2019 – not just at the festival, but in the local municipality, too.

The North Frisian company uses the highly innovative vehicle-to-grid approach to generate power in a cleverly adapted way: a fully charged, stationary electric car – a Nissan Leaf to be precise – functions as an electricity storage device, supplying two convenience camping tents and meeting the electricity needs of four guests. During the day, the show camp is open to anyone interested. Meanwhile an electrically powered vehicle fleet including charging infrastructure made by GP JOULE CONNECT is available to the W:O:A crew.

The use of car batteries as a decentralised storage option – known as vehicle-to-grid (V2G) – is an interesting approach and offers a variety of applications. E-cars and their batteries are turned into mobile intermediate storage devices for electricity, serving as small flexible power plants. They can be selectively charged with green electricity during periods where there is plenty of light or sunshine, returning this energy flexibly to consumers or the grid when they are not needed for driving. GP JOULE CEO Ove Petersen explains: “Sophisticated energy management is required for all this to function smoothly in detail. GP JOULE CONNECT has been working on precisely this set-up since the beginning of 2019, in collaboration with software partner The Mobility House. In the case of Wacken Open Air, we have adapted the V2G idea on a decentralised basis, transferring it to the festival campsites and creating a new showcase for W:O:A 2019. On the one hand we’re running a practical test, but the idea is also to act as a beacon project for CO2 emissions-free energy supply to festivals in the future.” The aim is to demonstrate that convenience camping with typical household devices and small electrical appliances such as refrigerators, grills, coffee machines, televisions, etc. can draw on a regenerative energy supply in this way. At W:O:A 2019, all electrical devices in the two tents are powered using this system. If necessary, the Nissan Leaf battery can be recharged on site by the PV modules installed at the GP JOULE container stand.

Festival staff are mobilized in climate-friendly style for the Wacken Open Air festival with a multitude of different e-bike models and e-scooters, complete with suitable mobile charging stations. As in 2018, festival visitors can once again rent Wacken-branded Power Boxes at the GP JOULE stand or purchase them directly. The portable battery with a rated output of 300 W is protected from shocks by a robust aluminium housing: it is fitted with a Bluetooth speaker and lamp and can be recharged on site at GP JOULE’s stand using the solar panels installed there. The special edition of the Wacken Fat Bike (made by EGO Movement) with extra thick off-road tyres is likewise set to electrify new fans in 2019. Last but not least, GP JOULE also offers free mobile phone charging with green power at its stand. In addition, GP JOULE will be launching a comprehensive energy monitoring programme during this year’s festival so as to measure the actual energy consumption of the infrastructure – stage, catering, car park, etc. – for the first time and be able to meet future demand specifically with renewable energy.

Since 2018, GP JOULE and ICS Festival Service have worked to develop a comprehensive regenerative energy concept with the Wacken municipality. This is being advanced ambitiously, and citizen participation is planned. Concrete plans will follow on from this in 2020: not only for the local expansion of decentralised energy generation based on photovoltaics but also for the use of PV electricity as part of a regional sectoral cross-linkage project. The idea is to provide climate-friendly heat supply and electrically powered mobility for the local community, also taking into account new construction planning.



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