Feasibility study for SCORE pilot project in Essen (Germany)

The city of Essen is currently examining various possibilities of implementing an energy sharing concept within a renewable energy community as a pilot project of SCORE. For one of the planned projects, Prof Jens Lowitzsch and his team from European University Viadrina have now developed a specific feasibility study, which they presented to involved stake­holders in the city of Essen at the end of November 2020.

The feasibility study investigates the sharing of solar energy from several new photo­voltaic installations between an institution for the disabled (Franz Sales Haus) and a municipal vocational school (Berufskolleg Ost). The presentation took place in the „Hotel Franz“ of the Franz Sales Haus. In addition to representatives of the two above-mentioned institutions, the administration of the city of Essen and the local public utility company were involved. Moreover, a team from the German national TV station ZDF documenting the SCORE project was present. Broadcasting is planned in the context of ZDF’s “Plan-B” in the beginning of 2021.

Due to the positive assessment of the profitability of the project as well as its pioneering character, the results of the study, which were previously confirmed by independent analysts, were received with great interest by the Essen-based stake­holders. The concept of the project envisages the participation of both people with disabilities as an under­represented group and school pupils in the energy transition. It can be modularly expanded, e.g. by an inclusion of surrounding housing areas of the municipal housing company with mixed tenant structure. The results were received with enthusiasm and unconditional support by the participants of the presentation.

About the feasibility study

The Franz Sales Haus is a Catholic institution for the disabled with a central campus comprising 15 buildings used for different purposes in the Essen city area. Around 140 kilowatt peak photovoltaic systems are to be newly installed. On the roof of the municipal vocational school, a new photovoltaic system with 225 kilowatts is planned. Excess solar power will then be shared between those two properties. For example, the Franz Sales Haus will be able to use solar power from the roof of the vocational college when the vocational college itself is only able to use a small amount of solar power at weekends or during school vacations. Together, the two properties easily achieve a self-consumption rate of 100 percent. This makes the project particularly economical under current G­­­­erman legislation.