VPPs are recognized as an important solution for integrating renewable energy sources into the power grid and for increasing the overall flexibility and resilience of the grid.
Virtual power plants (VPPs) are a network of distributed energy resources (DERs), such as solar panels, wind turbines, and battery storage systems, that are connected to a central control system (often running in the cloud). By aggregating the power of several DERs, a VPP can deliver the same service and redundancy and subsequently trade on the same energy markets as large central power plants or industrial consumers.
In the early days, commonly used DERs were mid- to large-scale combined heat and power (CHP) units, wind farms, solar parks, industrial back-up generators, bio-gas, etc. Recently, consumer households can also participate in a VPP network with their rooftop solar PV, home battery systems and electric cars. Monetary incentives like electricity bill credits are offered by Utilities to convince these households to join.
According to Fortune Business Insights, the global virtual power plant market is projected to reach USD 6.74 Billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 32.89% from 2021 to 2028. The VPP market growth is driven by the cost-effectiveness of renewable technology, with CAPEX often cheaper than traditional centralized power plants. Of course, also the heavy incentives from local and state government policies and laws to ensure energy security and independence, are fueling that growth as well.
There are also a number of challenges associated with providing scalable service support for VPPs. One of the main challenges is the complexity of the systems involved. VPPs typically consist of a large number of distributed assets, each of which may have different owners, operators, and maintenance requirements. This can make it difficult to coordinate maintenance and repairs, as well as to track the performance of individual assets. We believe that automation and predictive maintenance is the key answer to address these challenges.
With the Waylay hyperautomation platform, we can efficiently bridge the gap between the VPP central control systems and the service operations tools of the VPP utility. In the image below, we illustrate how Waylay is positioned in the VPP service operations architecture.
Click below to continue reading why service management is critical to the success of any VPP.