A community-based Virtual Power Plant (cVPP)
Due to growing concerns about CO2 emissions, renewables such as PV and wind energy have increased substantially over the past years. Their growing deployment, intermittent nature and lack of storage facilities are however making it more challenging to balance demand and supply and to stay within the capacity limits of the electricity grid. A community-based Virtual Power Plant (cVPP) facilitates local community energy initiatives to aggregate distributed generation and flexibility through an Energy Management System (EMS) platform which models price changes, energy flows and weather conditions, and thereby helps to solve the grid problems. Being organized by the community and driven by their needs, a cVPP works for citizens: it enables energy communities to manage energy demand and supply within their community and to trade energy and flexibility on markets, which helps democratise the energy system. In the current regulatory framework the viability of cVPP business models is limited. Yet, updates of the EU’s energy policy framework (Winter Package) are expected to improve the level-playing-field for cVPPs.
What is a community-based VirtualPowerPlant (cVPP)?
Imagine that you generate your own energy. That makes you a prosumer. You can try to consume your own local production as much as you can, i.e. maximise your self-consumption. To realize this, you need to manage your energy as a smart prosumer. And what if you can do even more, together with others in a community? Discover in the video below how you could do more with your energy. (Dutch version at the bottom of this page).
The dispersed cVPP – Community Power (Ireland)
The Irish story starts in Co Tipperary at the Templederry Wind Farm, Ireland’s first community owned wind farm. This community project went through a process of partnerships with other community energy groups from the regions Tipperary, Limerick, Galway, Mayo and Dublin, all working on a sustainable energy future for Ireland, and led to the foundation of Community Power, Ireland’s first community owned electricity supplier. Community Power’s ambition is to increase on-site renewable generation, increase community owned renewable generation, smartly manage energy flows and support future communities to participate in building their own renewable energy solutions “by building a cVPP” across the country, i.e. a dispersed cVPP.
All decisions made by Community Power must reflect the values and needs as agreed by all partner groups. Therefore, interactive group sessions with community members were organised, leading to identification of five core principles: local benefit, clean energy, co-operative, fair prices and local resilience.
An Energy Management System (EMS) with a dispersed architecture was developed and installed in domestic properties. The EMS allows smart control of heat pumps and batteries to optimize behind-the-meter energy flows and provide flexibility services to the national grid. During the upscaling phase of the project, new communities will be added to the dispersed cVPP and the number of connections to the EMS will be extended.
- Tipperary Energy Agency (TEA)
- Stichting Duurzame Projecten Loenen (DPL)
- LAST UPDATED: 26/08/2021 17:28 – https://www.nweurope.eu/projects/project-search/cvpp-community-based-virtual-power-plant/#tab-1