In addition to units from the photovoltaic, wind, hydropower and bioenergy sectors, the Virtual Power Plant “Next Pool” also includes power consumers and storage units. Next Kraftwerke uses an intelligent control system to network and control over 13,000 decentralized plants. Thus, the company contributes to stabilizing the power grid and trades the electricity on various European energy exchanges.
Renewable energies have long been a central part of the power supply. In the face of the continuous increase in volatile energy sources, the coordination and control of the plants in particular is playing an increasingly important role today. "Our Virtual Power Plant, which now has a capacity of 10,000 MW, not only illustrates how an energy system with a high proportion of volatile energy sources works. It also shows how the aggregated energy of many decentralized plants – intelligently managed – contributes to stabilizing our power grid," explains Jochen Schwill, Managing Director at Next Kraftwerke.
Next Kraftwerke started in 2009 with the idea of bundling emergency generators and biogas plants to meet the MW requirement and thus gain access to the German balancing energy market. Gradually, the company developed into one of the largest Virtual Power Plants in Europe. The company is now present in eight European countries. From 2018 until today, the company has more than doubled its capacity under management from 4,600 MW to 10,000 MW. Over 6,000 MW of this capacity comes from solar power, making Next Kraftwerke the largest solar power trader in Germany today. In addition to trading services via its own Virtual Power Plant, Next Kraftwerke also offers a VPP-as-a-Service solution. "Our VPP platform NEMOCS also gives other companies the opportunity to set up their own Virtual Power Plant and thus actively participate in the green energy market of the future," says Jochen Schwill.
About Next Kraftwerke
Next Kraftwerke operates one of the largest virtual power plants in Europe. In its Next Pool VPP, more than 13,000 decentralized power generators and consumers are networked via a platform and can thus be controlled via the control system developed in-house. With a networked generation capacity of more than 10,000 megawatts, Next Kraftwerke helps balance frequency fluctuations in the grid. In addition, the Cologne-based company, which has been part of the Shell Group since 2021, optimizes the electricity production and consumption of the networked customers on the basis of price signals and trades their electricity on various European exchanges (e.g. EPEX and EEX) via its own 24/7 electricity trading.