Statkraft virtual plant integrates renewables, storage and gas in UK

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Norwegian hydropower and energy provider Statkraft has announced it has developed what it calls the U.K.’s first virtual power plant (VPP) to integrate renewables, storage and gas.

The company said the facility  functions as a conventional power plant, as it would be able to operate within various energy markets. The plant is monitoring around 1 GW of wind and solar power, battery storage and flexible gas engines, with the power output of all the facilities traded on the U.K. energy market by using day ahead, on-the-day and cash-out price forecasts, Statkraft said. The electricity is being sold automatically by algorithms developed by the company which are said to minimize risk to customers while maximizing return by capitalizing on the VPP’s flexibility.

The capacity of the VPP may be doubled by the end of summer, the company added, and the software for the project, which is said to enable controllable loads via a common intelligent control centre, was provided by Germany’s energy & meteo systems.

German forerunner

“We are already successful partners in Germany and believe that this new project is an important step in enabling Statkraft UK to make the most of renewable energy,” said the German company’s managing director, Ulrich Focken.

Statkraft’s virtual plant in Germany connects around 12 GW of wind and solar power. It was launched in 2012 and has more than 100 solar energy generators in its system, along with 1,300 wind farms and numerous hydropower and bioenergy producers.

The Norwegian company is also operating in the PV markets of India, the U.K., the Netherlands and Spain and aims to deploy 2 GW of solar capacity by 2025.