November 3, 2008
Siemens Energy, RWE Create Virtual Power Plant
Siemens Energy and RWE Energy have announced that their first virtual power plant has come on stream. To achieve this, nine hydropower plants owned by the utility company, Lister- und Lennekraftwerke, in the Sauerland region of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, have been integrated.
These distributed generating plants have capacities between 150kW and 1,100kW. The total output of these plants amounts to around 8,600kW.
The virtual power plant can use marketing channels that the operators of the individual plants would otherwise not be able to access. As a group, the plants can be operated more efficiently and more economically than before, which benefits the operators of the distributed generating plants. RWE will also market the electricity on the European Energy Exchange (EEX).
Decentralized energy management and communication with the generating plants plays a key role in the virtual power plant, which was realized by making use of existing products from the Siemens Energy portfolio. These include the decentralized energy management system, DEMS, and the DER Controller (distributed energy resources).
The distributed generating plants can not only be networked intelligently, but are also economical and environmentally friendly to operate. The DER Controller used for the communication is specifically geared to the needs of distributed generating plants.
Siemens and RWE Energy plan to use this pilot project to prove the technical maturity and financial viability of virtual power plants and acquire know-how for future potential operations. Further distributed generating plants, such as block-central cogeneration stations, biomass or wind energy plants are planned for incorporation into the network during the course of the project.