In 2009, Volkswagen formed a partnership with power company LichtBlick to cooperate on new approaches to intelligent energy supply. For the exclusive global partnership Volkswagen will manufacture the highly efficient EcoBlue combined heat and power plants, which are powered by state-of-the-art natural gas turbines developed by Volkswagen. These will then be sold by LichtBlick as “home power plants” and networked to produce large virtual power plants. The electricity generated will be fed into the national grid. The resulting heat will be stored and used in the house to provide hot water and heating. Volkswagen’s efficient turbine technology means that the EcoBlue power plants can produce up to 60% less CO2 than conventional means of power and heat generation. In addition, the partnership will help secure jobs at Volkswagen’s Salzgitter engine plant and other Group locations. Following a start-up phase in which they will only be available in the Hamburg area, the “home power plants” will be progressively marketed in the rest of Germany during 2010.