The virtual power plant (VPP) is one of many forms of decentralized power generation. Its place in the electricity hierarchy is often debated; some call it a supply-side initiative, others consider it an important tool for demand response, where it already has proven its worth.
There’s certainly agreement about the importance of VPPs to the future of the electricity sector. The past few years have brought a flurry of activity in the VPP market, as utilities and energy providers worldwide invest in technologies that are changing business models and hold the promise of making the power supply more reliable and resilient.
As an example of the VPP, Sonoma Clean Power dispatched its GridSavvy Community, an area that includes more than 900 EVs, along with several smart thermostats and heat pump water heaters, to coincide with the Flex Alert—a voluntary call for electricity customers to curtail their energy use—and grid operator CAISO’s forecast peak demand. Smart technologies, including Enel X’s JuiceBox smart charger (Figure 1), automatically responded.
Read more here: A Virtual Solution to a Real Energy Problem (powermag.com)