Public utilities included in a Virtual Power Plant (VPP)? What sounds like an exception to the rule is actually common practice. Why? Many public utilities own flexible systems, which are suitable for short-term trading. The public utility company in Groß-Gerau (GGV), a town southwest of Frankfurt, was the first to join Next Kraftwerke’s Virtual Power Plant. After starting cooperation in 2012 with the integration of biogas units into Next Kraftwerke’s VPP, Next Kraftwerke now also manages the utility’s balancing group and its portfolio. “Due to limited personnel resources, we were looking for a partner to optimize our electricity procurement costs,” GGV’s CEO Paul Weber says.
Next Kraftwerke forecasts the production and consumption of energy for the balancing group, transmits the schedule to the transmission system operator on a daily basis, and trades the forecasted volumes on the day-ahead market on the stock exchange. Deviations from the forecast are leveled by intraday trading. “We have a very trusting business relationship which has enabled us to reduce our electricity procurement costs without investing in a trade department of our own,” Weber says. “In the medium term, we intend to extend the cooperation regarding the flexibility of our biogas units and our power procurement.”