Virtual Power Plants (VPP) have been the talk of the town and are gaining immense popularity. These are cloud-based distributed power plants that aggregate the resources of various distributed power generating units to enhance energy generation and even trade units on the electricity market.
What are Virtual Power Plants?
Virtual Power Plants (VPP’s) are a network of decentralized, medium scale power generating units such as solar parks, wind farms, and storage systems in a cloud-based setting. These interconnected units are transmitted through the central control room of the Virtual Power Plant but remain independent in their ownership and operation.
The primary objective of a Virtual Power Plant is to forecast, monitor, optimize, and dispatch energy generation and consumption while relieving the load on the grid. This is achieved through intelligent distribution of the power generated by individual units during periods of peak load.
Decentralization and Virtual Power Plants (VPP)
Virtual Power Plants seem to have a promising future by reaping cost-savings and environmental benefits for the grid, consumers, and utility companies. VPP within the distributed system offers a way to forgo capital intensive investments, create grid reliability and operational optimization.
Distributed energy generation at such a scale in Pakistan would need both technological and institutional change that maximizes the use of renewables- especially solar and wind. The good news is that decentralized assets is the now in trend worldwide and VPP’s makes it possible for such smaller assets to get the same regulatory treatment as power plants.