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Next Pool

How a Virtual Power Plant works

Our Virtual Power Plant (VPP) aggregates different types of renewables. No sun is shining? A Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit pitches in. A day without wind? The biogas plant takes over the production of the wind farm.

Illustration of a Virtual Power Plant
In general individual decentralized plants can't offer services as reserve powers or offer their flexibility on the power exchanges. This is because their production or consumption profile varies strongly, they show insufficient availability due to unforeseen outages or they simply do not meet the minimum bid size of the markets. In addition, there are very strict requirements regarding the availability and reliability of the flexibility offered. The simple solution to overcome these barriers: work together! The combination of several types of flexible production and consumption units, networked by a central control system, is the core idea behind a Virtual Power Plant. This way a VPP can act like a large central power plant: it is able to deliver the same service and trade on the same markets.

The flexibility and electricity of the power plants connected to the Next Pool is traded on different energy markets. Soon the Italian electricity market design will also allow us to directly use aggregated decentralized units to support the grid operator through reserve power.

By integrating into the Next Pool, each individual plant profits from the achieved scale effects and can significantly increase its profitability. The revenue is distributed equally among the operators, taking into account the services provided in the pool.