Impact Analysis of a Virtual Power Plant

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The development of the renewable industry is still accelerating. The Netherlands contributes to roughly 1,5 GW solar PV capacity and domestic PV systems are increasingly popular. Another aggressively growing energy technology which is currently reaching its maturity is energy storage, which is also indicated as a “missing link to renewable energy” and can serve multiple other purposes like supplying ancillary services, transmission and distribution infrastructure services and many more. Aggregation of the devices from those technologies set a base concept for the VPP which was modelled in this work. The VPP by aggregation of small generating or any flexibility providing units enables their visibility on energy markets. The model of a VPP was based on the City-Zen project ongoing in one of the districts of Amsterdam in which home storage systems are aggregated to participate as a VPP on the Dutch energy market.
The model was build in Python environment where all logics was kept. Further it was interfaced with power systems analysis tool – PowerFactory in which load-flow calculations were made. The mode enabled impact evaluation of the VPP under economical and physical angle. It was concluded that currently no business case exists for such a VPP, however in the future it may be a profitable investment. The physical impact exerted by operating VPP on the distribution network turned out to be harmful and would force the DSO to upgrade the transformer or limit the number of participating houses.