Everything You Wanted To Know About Virtual Power Plants

Written by | Governmental Solutions, Lifestyle, Smart City

With the world’s natural resources dwindling at a tremendous pace, it’s become imperative for companies to find alternative sources of power. In fact, this type of resource depletion and climate change is responsible for the development of smart energy technology and smart cities.

One of the latest smart solutions for companies has come in the form of Virtual Power Plants (VPPs). Here, we understand what they are, what they’re used for, and how they’re benefitting the world.

What is a Virtual Power Plant?

A VPP is a state-of-the-art, remote energy plant that draws its energy from various independent conventional power plants and then directs the energy towards various parts of the city. The VPP works from a remote location. It isn’t actually at the site of a traditional, physical power plant. It functions on what is called a “smart grid”.

The smart grid is an electrical grid that uses cutting-edge technology in the form of smart meters and smart appliances. This grid is used to determine how much energy is being sent on a particular transmission line, how much energy is being used by individual users, and where to re-direct excess energy to prevent voltages from exceeding the limit.

Safe supply of clean power supply

One of the biggest advantages of a VPP is the constant and safe source of power – safe being the keyword.

Today, the global energy industry has started using distributed energy resources (DERs) to manage and optimize the use of energy. These DER units are on-site units, and they manage the energy needs of the particular plant.

Initially, DERs were enough to manage the large quantities of energy produced since most energy production was predominantly in the hands of a few centralized plants. However, today, smaller businesses are joining the industry, especially in the realm of renewable energy generation, and are generating tons of power every day.

Now it’s become more difficult for DERs to store the massive quantities of energy produced. Not storing this power carefully can cause huge voltage fluctuations, can burn down the electrical system, and even cause potentially-fatal fires. There’s a need to better-manage the load on the grid.

This is where VPPs come in.

VPPs network multiple DERs and off-load extra power from them. VPPs manage the amount of energy being generated by smartly tracking the load on various grids. The VPP automatically diverts power to grids that need them, safeguarding those that have an excess of energy.

24/7 energy supply assured

Another advantage of a VPP is reliable supply of power. Most smaller power plants don’t have the capacity to meet the energy needs of cities or even larger office spaces. By sourcing power into a centralized remote location and then smartly optimizing the distribution and use of energy, VPPs ensure that no company is left powerless. In fact, VPPs are responsible for 24/7 energy supply in many places.

Last modified: June 29, 2020

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