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Virtual power plant and system integration of distributed energy resources

Virtual power plant and system integration of distributed energy resources

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A concept is presented along with the overarching structure of the virtual power plant (VPP), the primary vehicle for delivering cost efficient integration of distributed energy resources (DER) into the existing power systems. The growing pressure, primarily driven by environmental concerns, for generating more electricity from renewables and improving energy efficiency have promoted the application of DER into electricity systems. So far, DER have been used to displace energy from conventional generating plants but not to displace their capacity as they are not visible to system operators. If this continues, this will lead to problematic over-capacity issues and under-utilisation of the assets, reduce overall system efficiency and eventually increase the electricity cost that needs to be paid by society. The concept of VPP was developed to enhance the visibility and control of DER to system operators and other market actors by providing an appropriate interface between these system components. The technical and commercial functionality facilitated through the VPP are described and concludes with case studies demonstrating the benefit of aggregation (VPP concept) and the use of the optimal power flow algorithm to characterise VPP.

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