Flexible Power Generation

Prepared for what comes next

Biogas Plant in our Virtual Power Plant Flexibility is the biggest asset and the biggest challenge for operating and shaping the electricity market of the future. The electricity market is currently undergoing major changes. Due to an increased stream of wind and solar electricity into the grid, the need for flexible power generation and flexible electricity consumption is also on the rise. As the share of non-adjustable renewables grows, the need for players who can quickly and flexibly balance their fluctuation grows, too.

What is flexibility? A power-generating or power-consuming unit is considered to be most flexible if it is able to produce or consume electricity without any restrictions. What is a restriction? One example is a combined heat and power (CHP) unit, which cannot shut down its power generation during a time when it is supposed to be heating. Its flexibility is therefore restricted.

However, by applying the full potential of digitalization, it is possible to more precisely forecast when a CHP unit’s heat is needed and when it is not. In doing so, our traders know exactly when the unit’s electricity can be traded on the spot markets. The demand for this kind of flexibility is already a highly-valuable asset on the electricity market, and its value will only increase in the future – a key consideration that went into Next Kraftwerke’s business model when it was created in 2009.

We capitalize on the fact that the value of power on the electricity market fluctuates: 96 times per day, every 15 minutes. Power generation and electricity consumption in our Virtual Power Plants happens when prices are best for our clients (peak load operation or demand response). Our traders directly trade the aggregated power of the interconnected units on different energy exchange spot markets. In doing so, our Virtual Power Plant also makes a substantial contribution to the stability of the grid by smartly distributing the power generated by the individual units in times of peak load (control reserve).

Find out more about the chances of flexible electricity supply and demand in our best practices.