Next Kraftwerke starts delivering aFRR grid reserves in Belgium


Published: 9. March 2021

Since January of 2021, Next Kraftwerke offers Automatic Frequency Restoration Reserve (aFRR) to the Belgian grid operator Elia through its fleet of networked decentralized units. Those units consist of different technologies, with CHPs being the most prominent. Leading up to the successful implementation of the Belgian aFRR pool’s operations, Next Kraftwerke went through the prequalification process of the Belgian transmission system operator Elia, to proof the ability of the networked units to deliver aFRR to the grid. When delivering aFRR reserve power, it is imperative to follow the TSO’s setpoint for the activation accurately. When one unit responds in a different way than expected, the Virtual Power Plant automatically compensates by adapting the setpoint for other units in the fleet. This way, the entire pool can deliver this crucial balancing product with higher accuracy than conventional large-scale power plants.

Next Kraftwerke is prequalifying more assets on an ongoing basis, to grow the the Belgian aFRR fleet further.

Delivering aFRR to TSO Elia in Belgium through a Virtual Power Plant (VPP)
Response of Next Kraftwerke’s Virtual Power Plant to downward aFRR activations on a typical day with a pool of CHPs.

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Next Kraftwerke Belgium BVBA is Belgium’s first Digital Utility operating a Virtual Power Plant – the Next Pool – both on the electricity and reserve power markets with a focus on flexibility. The Belgian installations are pooled together with flexible generation and demand and demand response in other European countries (e.g. Germany, The Netherlands, France, Austria, Poland, Italy and Switzerland) adding up to a total of more than 10 000 decentral consumers and producers with a total power of more than 8,5 GW.