Statkraft has disclosed that its UK virtual power plant (VPP) capacity has reached a gigawatt. The Norwegian state-owned company plans to double that capacity by summer.
Statkraft has combined wind power, solar power, battery storage and flexible gas engines to create a 1GW VPP with partner energy & meteo systems. They are monitoring output against various market prices and optimising the portfolio and trading accordingly by controlling and dispatching assets so that they can act like they were one unit.
However, the decentralised nature of the portfolio means it has much greater flexibility than a single plant.
The firm has been quietly amassing its UK portfolio and has signalled intent to diversify further into decentralised energy.
A Statkraft spokesperson said it could not disclose the exact technology mix within the VPP, but that there is “at least 50MW each” of wind, solar, battery storage and gas engines.
One of the storage units in its UK VPP is a 6MW/6MWh battery in Dorking, which entered service last September.
The Energyst asked how Statkraft plans to reach 2GW so quickly.
“All of the assets in the virtual power plant have growth potential; however there is more volume growth from renewables generation,” said the spokesperson. “The flex trading benefits come from the gas engines and batteries; whereas with the renewables its around not generating.”
In Germany, the company’s VPP now tops 12GW.
“Our business model in the UK to producers of renewable power involves marketing renewable assets with maximum efficiency – for our partners, but also towards the power market. The idea is to match renewable power production with market demand within seconds,” said Duncan Dale, vice president sales & new products, Statkraft UK.
“The increasing share of renewable energy in the UK will require a maximum of flexibility in the British power grid. By integrating batteries and engines into the virtual power plant and optimising their operations we can provide this flexibility reliably.”
See the press release here.