Japan’s ENERES developing virtual power plant with 10,000 assets

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Tokyo-based energy services firm ENERES is building a Japanese virtual power plant (VPP) alongside AutoGrid, of California. The project will incorporate more than 10,000 assets including storage in 2021 “with rapid scaling in subsequent years,” according to AutoGrid.

ENERES said the project would be an “open platform to support a decentralized energy society”.

VPPs incorporate a distributed energy resource management system to coordinate demand response and aggregate and dispatch distributed storage and PV generation.

AutoGrid will supply ENERES with the VPP and customer engagement software and the first phase of the project will aggregate only demand response resources. The second phase will create a VPP by adding storage, PV generation, electric vehicle batteries and combined heat and power assets.

Join the party

ENERES said it will call on companies pursuing environmental, social, governance and sustainable development goals to “participate in open platforms”. The firm – a subsidiary of KDDI Corporation which specializes in wholesale electricity, storage batteries and demand management services – added: “The platform functionality will be provided via software-as-a-service to operators wishing to control distributed power, and ENERES will support operators’ operations.”

ENERES president and representative director Masahiro Kobayashi said: “AutoGrid Flex gives us a proven, AI-driven comprehensive distributed energy management solution that allows us to fully leverage our own resources and those of our customers in real time.”

In Australia, U.S.-based Sempra Energy has even larger ambitions, having announced late last year its PXiSE distributed energy resource management (DERM) platform will manage a VPP with up to 50,000 resources in Western Australia. According to a recent Deloitte survey of utility chief executives, almost half were considering a DERM solution.

AutoGrid’s credentials

AutoGrid says it has contracted more than 5 GW of distributed energy resources “and works with more than 50 leading energy companies around the world”. The company’s website notes Navigant Research ranked it among the top three DERMS providers globally alongside Siemens and British Columbia-based Embala.

Last month French multinational Schneider Electric acquired a stake in AutoGrid, to “help Schneider Electric reinforce its position in edge control software and analytics for microgrids and distributed energy resources,” according to a press release issued at the time. That market, added Schneider, “promises to be worth more than $50 billion in the coming few years”.