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What Are Virtual Power Plants?

What Are Virtual Power Plants?

Energy generation and distribution continue to be hot topics today. As reported by Power Magazine, “Clean power generation like wind, solar, and hydro is cost-effective, and the penetration into the electricity generation landscape is growing. Building and connecting this renewable infrastructure is not on its own enough to replace fossil fuels while maintaining the current standard of on-demand and reliable power. Managing the grid has become such a complex operation that more and more digitalization is necessary, and finally, autonomous systems will take over. But the picture is much broader. The demand and consumption of energy have also changed remarkably.”  For that reason, more people are looking to add energy technology to their homes to enable them for the future of virtual power plants. Let’s take a closer look at these new icons of green energy production and their benefits.

What Are Virtual Power Plants

Ongoing efforts to improve energy reliability and sustainability have given rise to the idea of virtual power plants. Unlike a traditional power plant, a virtual power plant applies a decentralized power-generating network, including wind farms, combined heat and power (CHP) units, flexible power consumers, storage systems, and solar parks. The central control room within a virtual plant connects the various assets and ensures their independent operation. That effectively relieves the load on the grid by balancing energy availability with peak use times.

Sustainable Energy Management

Virtual plants promote a sustainable approach to overall energy management. Instead of relying on a fossil fuel-only-based resource, or even a single sustainable resource, such as hydropower resources, virtual energy plants allow for a broad swath of energy resources to be called upon at any moment. As a result, the sharing of energy or energy transfer throughout the virtual network allows areas with fewer renewable resources to tap such resources in other regions and geographies. That is a marked advantage in regions where energy resources, such as geothermal energy, are not necessarily as active or available.

Added Benefits of These Power Plants

The benefits of virtual energy plants are simply too great to ignore. Everyone realizes that renewable sources of energy are the way of the future. Still, problems within traditional grids or how grids are managed, as seen recently within Texas, can have a disastrous impact on overall energy availability. A more proactive approach and use of virtual power plants can avoid potential disruptions and help ensure a well-distributed energy resource is available for centuries to come. The added benefits of virtual energy plants include the following:

  • Expansion of the energy grid to overcome periods of high demand.
  • Increased forecasting for energy demand to scale production to avoid outages.
  • Virtual power plants help to reduce infrastructure shortfalls.
  • Virtual power plants also offer contracted management systems.

Get Future Ready

From lower operating costs through the decreased environmental impact and a natural ability to manage the virtual grid remotely, virtual power plants are a next-generation capability of proactive energy management. And implementing those resources is much easier with the right sustainability partnership and solutions provider, such as Elevation. Contact Elevation to find out how you can prepare your home for this bright future.

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