Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) are one of the main building blocks of the intelligent electricity grids of the future. Through the use of advanced ICT systems they allow, in fact, to manage the growing presence of renewable sources, aggregating the flexibility of distributed energy resources (DER) efficiently. DER aggregation can effectively support conventional generation by increasing the overall efficiency of the electrical system with the flexible contribution of end users.
VIRTUS aims to carry out the prototypal realization of a VPP (Virtual Power Plant) in an industrial tertiary context.
The demonstration phase will play a significant role and will be held in three real industrial and tertiary sites equipped with local monitoring and control systems in the context of previous projects, thus covering the entire value chain of energy services. Part of the demonstration phase will also make use of simulation tools in order to have the availability of clusters of customers / DER of different types and to broaden the demonstration context. Energy services will allow end customer access to the energy market, improving energy efficiency at local and global level and security of energy supply.
The system developed within the project will include local DER management and a central system for coordinating and optimizing customer flexibility. The expected benefits for users of the national electricity system are, as required by the European directives on energy efficiency and their application at the level of the member states, the availability of tools to increase energy efficiency in the industrial and public administration sectors, and the implementation of active demand management programs, opening up consumer access to the electricity market.
As part of the project, we intend to create a prototype VPP that also allows the integration of conventional electricity and thermal energy generation with network infrastructures and supply systems along the entire value chain: the organization of the energy portfolio , the use of forecasting systems, the management of customer relationships (Customer Relationship Management – CRM), the adoption of geographical location systems (Geographic Information System – GIS) and the measurement and billing activities.
Technology providers have the opportunity to integrate technologies into innovative solutions, creating the basis for new products and new standards. The project intends to use ICT technologies not only for the aggregation of customers-producers, the enabling of Demand Reponse mechanisms (DR) and the integration of Distributed Generation (GD), but also for optimization of distributed energy resources and trading of services.
For end users, in particular industrial and tertiary consumers, the presence of a VPP allows you to open up new revenue opportunities thanks to access to the energy services market and savings on energy supply costs. The interfacing of local energy management systems with central optimization systems also allows end customers to reduce the risk associated with investments in Energy Efficiency (EE).
For an energy provider, managing a VPP allows to remunerate modulation services of its equivalent load profile to be offered on the energy and services market, improving the efficiency of the electrical system as a whole, reducing the environmental impact and ensuring a economic return. In this way, the energy provider shifts its business from the pure supply of commodities to the sale / purchase of value-added services.
EXPERIMENTAL AREA PONTLAB – Industrial site with intelligent resource control.
GENOESE ATHENS AND MICROGRID DARSENA – System for monitoring and controlling consumption.
The consortium is composed of an industrial component (algoWatt, YANMAR), with proven technical skills in the design, construction and installation of ICT / SCADA systems, industrial automation, monitoring and energy efficiency systems, electrochemical storage devices and electric motors, and an academic component (UNIGE, UNIBO), with recognized international experience in the field of applied research on electrical systems and in the ICT field.
The proposers represent some of the VPP actors, and their collaboration within the project can give rise to interesting synergies to acquire skills in the sector and to create management and optimization products and value-added services:
For end users (YANMAR, UNIGE), in particular industrial and tertiary consumers, the presence of a VPP allows you to open up new revenue opportunities thanks to access to the services market and savings on energy supply costs. Interfacing local energy management systems with central systems such as VPPs also reduces the risk associated with investments in Energy Efficiency (EE).
The technology providers and research bodies involved in ICT issues (algoWatt, UNIBO, YANMAR), have the opportunity to integrate and expand technologies into innovative solutions, creating the basis for new products and new standards. An efficient ICT solution, developed for customer-producer aggregates, allows producers to integrate transparently with suppliers: in addition to technologies such as DR and DG, which are focused on transforming the customer from passive to active, the VPP focuses on the level of communication, optimization of resources and trading of services.