What is a Virtual Power Plant? It’s a way for a group of households to get together to share a clean generation source (usually solar PV). You reduce your energy bills and you can be sure you aren’t causing pollution when you turn on the light.
How does it work? A group of generation assets and battery storage are connected to a centrally managed cloud-based software platform.
Thanks to advancements in cloud technology, VPPs are poised to move out of early adopter phase.
These solutions are interesting for electricity distribution companies too, because they can help ‘even out’ the effects of fluctuation renewable in energy production. When the solar panels produce more electricity than the houses need, the surplus is stored in the battery. That way the households can use the electricity even when the sun isn’t shining.
The biggest obstacle to adoption has been the cost of battery storage, but this should decrease significantly over the next 5-10 years.
Tesla is getting in on the game, with a VPP trial in Australia involving thousands of households. The project, which will be the world’s largest Virtual Power Plant so far, uses rooftop solar panels connected to a Powerwall battery system. The project hopes to supply 80% of each household’s energy needs.
The technology behind the scenes:
- Cloud Platform
- Asset monitoring
- Data & Analytics
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