The SmartQuart project was unveiled to the public on June 10 at a press event where citizens were invited to take an active part in energy transition. Developed by a consortium of ten partners under the leadership of energy supplier E.ON, the project aims to transform energy consumption in three districts of the cities of Essen and Bedburg (in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia) and Kaisersesch (Rhineland-Palatinate).
SmartQuart is “energy turnaround on a neighbourhood scale” said Andreas Feicht, state secretary for the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), at the . He described it as “a format that thinks along with the various interests of citizens, local authorities, planners, plant and grid operators and develops good solutions for implementing the energy turnaround.”
The partners will innovate new solutions for the construction and operation of “energy-optimized” neighbourhoods. They range from low-density Bedburg, to a high-density urban quarter in Essen, with the mixed-structure Kaisersesch in between – reflecting Germany as a whole.
In Kaisersesch, for example, infrastructure will be built to support a green hydrogen economy. In Bedburg and Essen, locally-available renewable energies will be used and optimised through digital solutions both at street level, for example through smart mobility, and in the private sphere. The areas will be networked via the SmartQuart-Hub, an intelligent energy management system which ensures energy is used as efficiently as possible and shared where and when required.
A total of EUR 60 million will be invested by all partners until 2024. The BMWi has funded the project through the “Real-life laboratory of the energy turnaround” initiative, which aims to test sustainable energy technologies under real conditions and on an industrial scale.