With the help of the VPP software-as-a-service solution NEMOCS, the British energy supplier Ecotricity has implemented its own virtual power plant and now provides ancillary services through it. The green energy retailer, which has been offering energy services for renewable energies since 1996, is one of the first aggregators to provide smaller decentralised plants with access to the so-called "Balancing Mechanism". The Balancing Mechanism, which was only opened up to plants at the distribution grid level about two years ago, is the main market to balance short-term load requirements in Great Britain through which the electricity grid is balanced up to 60 minutes before the settlement period and, in addition, local grid bottlenecks can be eliminated.
At the moment, only wind power plants are networked in Ecotricity's virtual power plant. Via NEMOCS, the company receives live data from the plants and can remotely control their electricity production. In order to prove their suitability for participation in the Balancing Mechanism, the plants connected via NEMOCS had to undergo a series of tests by the transmission system operator National Grid. This was finally completed on 27.4.2021 and Ecotricity received official approval from National Grid. Ecotricity is planning to integrate further plants into the virtual power plant. This way, photovoltaic systems and battery storage systems will also participate in the balancing mechanism.