The Virtual Power Plant Operated by Next Kraftwerke
Next Kraftwerke created a virtual power plant (VPP) that aggregates different types of renewables. A day without wind? The biogas plant takes over the production of the wind farm. No sun is shining? A Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit pitches in.
A virtual power plant is a pool of several decentralized installations, either consuming or producing electricity. Individual decentralized plants can in general not offer services as reserve powers or offer their flexibility on the power exchanges because their production or consumption profile varies strongly, they show insufficient availability due to unforeseen outages or they simply do not meet the minimum bid size of the markets. In addition, there are strict requirements regarding the availability and reliability of the flexibility offered in the market. To overcome these barriers, the solution is simple: work together! The combination of several types of flexible production and consumption units, controlled by a central intelligent system, is the core idea behind a virtual power plant. This way a VPP can deliver the same service and trade on the same markets as large central power plants or industrial consumers.
The flexibility and electricity of the power plants connected to the Next Pool is traded on the different energy markets or is directly used in real time to support the grid operator through reserve power and to reduce imbalance costs.
By acting jointly inside the portfolio, each single plant of the Next Pool benefits from the economies of scale created and can increase the value of its flexibility. The revenues are fairly distributed to the plant owners taking into account the service provisions in the pool.