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New virtual power software to harness decentralized energy assets

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Next Kraftwerke have developed new virtual power plant software as a service solution and will introduce the technology, called NEMOCS, at the E-World conference in Essen this week.

Utilities and grid operators can use NEMOCS to network decentralized energy market assets – such as producers, consumers, and storage units – to aggregate their capacity and flexibility. Each individual asset can be operated as part of the larger network using remote control technology.

The term virtual power plant is understood as the interconnection of a large number of small plants such as hydropower units, engine-based cogeneration plants, biomass plants and wind turbines. In this way marketing channels can be utilized, which are otherwise unavailable to the operators of small units.

Examples of the practical application of the new software-as-a-service solution include the provision of short-term reserves for transmission system operators or the ability to balance grid fluctuation within seconds.

For flexible assets, NEMOCS can also generate operating schedules that are tied to energy prices for power trading on the energy exchanges. The system displays and records real-time information on current output, reserve levels, and standby status of the assets.

Price signals from the exchanges and network signals from the TSOs are processed in seconds and converted to commands for the networked, decentralized assets. This means the assets are operated based on demand and against price developments on the exchanges, which maximizes returns.

Whether an asset is being used for control reserve or price-oriented supply, any existing restrictions on the asset are factored into the equation at all times by NEMOCS.

Following comprehensive consulting, NEMOCS is individually prepared for each customer. This includes an analysis of the customer’s requirements, the desired application, and the assets to be networked.

Jochen Schwill, co-founder and CEO of Next Kraftwerke: “With NEMOCS, we’re providing a comprehensive solution to third parties for setting up a virtual power plant. We included every idea and feature that our own IT experts and energy traders have created and put to use.”

Since 2009, Next Kraftwerke has operated the Next Pool Virtual Power Plant, which has since grown to more than 5,000 linked assets. These include energy producers from a variety of sources and industrial energy consumers for a total energy capacity of more than 4,000 MW, making Next Kraftwerke the operator of one of Europe’s largest virtual power plants.

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