The electricity generation of wind farms and photovoltaic plants is decentralised and volatile. This often gives rise to production shortfalls and surpluses, with negative consequences for the stability of the power grid. Could ‘virtual power plants’ be the solution?
The idea behind a ‘virtual power plant’ is to link various renewable generation assets in a region via an information and communications network. Using this network, electricity generation and consumption data can be exchanged and managed centrally, allowing electricity supply and demand to be coordinated, which helps stabilise the network.
This is the focus of Project QUIRINUS, an integration project which won the funding competition ‘VirtualPowerPlants.NRW’ organised by the regional development fund ‘LeitmarktAgentur.NRW’. The project is receiving six million euros in funding from the European Union and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
QUIRINUS is a consortium of distribution system operators and energy utilities, manufacturers and operators of data communication facilities, and energy storage and combined heat and power plants, along with two research institutes.
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