Next Kraftwerke provides balancing energy in Italy

Published: 28. November 2019

The 15 aggregation zones in Italy

In November, Next Kraftwerke provided balancing energy in Italy for the first time. The Virtual Power Plant offered the transmission grid operator (TSO) TERNA 4.6 megawatts of flexibility. In a first step, Next Kraftwerke had bid in the auction for positive balancing energy. It was thus ready to regulate the consumption of one of its customers – in this case a concrete plant – in response to a signal from the TSO within fifteen minutes if required.

Currently, mainly large power plants provide balancing energy in Italy. In order to incentivize new players to participate on the ancillary services market, TERNA has launched a pilot project to test new ways of providing balancing energy, for instance through aggregating smaller assets. It is called “Progetto Pilota Per Unità Virtuali Abilitate Miste” or UVAM for short. UVAM defines the framework for Virtual Power Plants in Italy for the first time. As part of this project, Next Kraftwerke took part in the auction.

TERNA tenders control reserve in annual auctions, quarterly auctions and monthly auctions. There are two market zones in Italy for which prequalified providers can bid. Within those market zones, there are 15 aggregation zones. In those aggregation zones, it is permitted to aggregate different plants in order to achieve the required minimum size for the provision of balancing energy of one megawatt. Next Kraftwerke provided flexibility throughout November from Monday to Friday in the market zone A (North, Central-North) and aggregation zone 5 in the time slice 14-20 hours.

Since 2017, Cologne-based Virtual Power Plant Next Kraftwerke with its Italian subsidiary Centrali Next has been active on the Italian market as a power trader. "We are delighted to be one of the first Virtual Power Plants to have taken this important step in the Italian market," says Filippo Cantelmi, Business Developer at Centrali Next. "There is a fixed remuneration with a maximum price of 30,000 Euro per megawatt per year just for providing control reserve and a variable remuneration if the provided flexibility gets called by TERNA. Therefore, UVAM is a very nice opportunity to generate additional revenue for cogeneration plants and large consumers, for example. We will therefore continue to participate in auctions together with our customers in the future".

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Fotocredit: Next Kraftwerke

Next Kraftwerke

Next Kraftwerke operates one of the biggest Virtual Power Plants in Europe. By utilizing the full potential of digitalization, the company networks thousands of energy-producing and energy-consuming units in the Virtual Power Plant “Next Pool”. Through its technology and trading, clients are able to produce and consume electricity when prices are best for them. By trading their aggregated power 24/7 on different energy spot markets the Virtual Power Plant also makes a substantial contribution to stabilizing the grid by smartly distributing the power generated and consumed by the individual units in times of peak load.