Technology



Producer

You are producing electricity yourself? Chances are high your production profile and plant dispatch can be optimised. Together we investigate how we can put your installation at work optimally. Below you find typical flexible production techniques, and some of our products that suit them. But since every installation is unique, we commit ourselves to design a tailored solution for you. Request a revenue calculation and we determine where your flexibility can be commissioned best.

Hydro

Hydro plants are flexible to a certain extent. In Belgium the typical hydro plant is a run-of-river plant. Different to the reservoir power plants which can store water behind a dam for later use, the run-of-river plant typically has no or very limited water storage capacity. This means that it is in general economically not interesting to reserve upward capacity. This is because you would have to let water pass unused. Furthermore the production of a hydro plant depends on the water carried by the river and varies strongly between wet and dry seasons but also from month to month when rainfall changes quickly. However run-of-river plants can provide downward reserve power products:


Another option is to have a closer look at the forecasting methodology which can increase the value of the power on the electricity markets. The Next Pool includes various small and medium sized run-of-river plants mostly connected in Austria. Next Kraftwerke's trading team has therefore strong experience in putting hydro plants on the long- and short-term electricity markets:
Next Kraftwerke naturally also buys your green certificates.

Biogas

Biogas plants are technically as flexible as large gas-fired power plants. In Europe the Next Pool connects already a few thousand motors providing reserve power to the TSO and trading the electricity on the long- and short-term markets. Trading a biogas plant's flexibility and electricity always needs to take into account that there are high opportunity costs for every kWh that is not produced as the green certificates are lost. Nevertheless there are various options to increase the value of a biogas production and to use its flexibility where it is worth most:


Next Kraftwerke naturally also buys your green certificates and CHP certificates.

Solar

Solar power can be traded on the electricity markets and its value can be significantly improved by optimally forecasting the future production. By acting on the short term markets the trader can reduce possible costs that can incur due to a difference between the forecasted and the actual output of the plant:

  • Trade your solar power together with Next Kraftwerke

  • Next Kraftwerke naturally also trades the associated green certificates.

    Why is it difficult to provide reserve power with PV plants:
    • There are high opportunity costs for any kWh solar energy that is not produced as the green certificate prices are high. When reserve power is activated downward these certificates are lost, when the PV plant wants to provide upward reserves it needs to operate below maximum production and the losses are even higher.
    • The forecasting accuracy is still not high enough. To provide reserve power you need to know the volume of power that you will have available in the future.
    • The reserve power market does not yet offer products that are suited for PV. This is because all reserve power product blocks cover hours when solar irradiation is low or there is no sun at all. During these hours there is no power production and hence no reserve power can be provided. This barrier could however be overcome by operating the plant in a portfolio like the Next Pool.

    Wind

    Wind power can be traded on the electricity markets and its value can be significantly improved by optimally forecasting the future production. By acting on the short term markets the trader can reduce possible costs that can incur due to a difference between the forecasted and the actual output of the plant:

  • Trade your wind power together with Next Kraftwerke

  • Next Kraftwerke naturally also trades the associated green certificates.

    Can a wind farm provide reserve power?

    Today it is still not possible to provide reserve power with a wind farm in Belgium. This is due to the difficulty to forecast the future wind power production and due to the relatively high costs of lost certificates when wind power production is reduced. Furthermore, the design of the suited reserve power products would have to be adapted. An interested reader might be interested in the Belgian pilot project on R2 provision by wind power.

    Natural gas CHP

    A CHP installation produces heat and electricity at the same time. To optimally use the CHP both heat and power production need to be used or traded. Sometimes even the CO2 output is valorized. On the one hand the CHP is technically able to quickly control the power output and ramp up and down within seconds to minutes. On the other hand the flexibility can be strongly limited by the need to produce heat and CO2 for secondary processes.

    However, operated in a larger pool of several CHPs and in combination with other technologies CHPs are a very interesting technology for reserve power provision in all reserve power categories. Additionally the flexibility of CHPs can be valorized on the market for reactive balancing and the short-term electricity markets. By exploiting these two options significant additional revenue streams can be generated for the plant owner:


    Next Kraftwerke naturally also buys your CHP certificates.

    Emergency genset

    An emergency generator is typically installed to take over the power supply in case of a grid outage or loss of connection to the supply grid. For instance in a hospital where vital services need to be powered but also in companies that need to keep some important processes running in case of power supply cut. Some generators can run in parallel to the grid. This means that it can also be powered up also when there is no power outage in order to reduce for instance peak consumption.

    Emergency gensets are usually fired with diesel or natural gas. The power production costs are relatively high. Therefore emergency gensets are a classical technology for reserve power products that are rarely activated and for which the response times are long enough to allow activation of a cold engine. In Belgium these are the R3 products (e.g. R3DP, R3 flex & R3 standard) or the strategic reserve. We are happy to take your emergency engine in our pool. Please contact us by phone, email or via our revenue calculator.

    Have a look at the real life example for the remuneration types for reserve power provision.