A virtual power plant for every home

A virtual power plant for every home

Centrica and sonnen have installed a network of 100 domestic batteries to form the UK’s most advanced Virtual Power Plant.

The network of decentralised home energy storage systems has been approved by National Grid allowing the batteries to be aggregated in a cloud platform in order to provide Dynamic Firm Frequency Response (FFR) - selling storage space when the grid is overloaded or providing stored energy during periods of peak demand.

It allows customers to maximise the amount of solar generated electricity in their home, reducing their energy bills whilst contributing to the stability and sustainability of the UK’s electricity system.

The two companies are working together to build on the existing 100 sonnenBatterie systems, to provide even more storage capacity for grid stabilisation in the future.

Notes

Whilst home batteries are becoming ever more popular with consumers and Virtual Power Plants are increasingly being used by energy companies to manage their energy portfolios and systems in a more sustainable and cost efficient way, the collaboration between Centrica and sonnen demonstrates how networks of home batteries can work hand in hand with large scale  batteries and other flexible industrial equipment to build a VPP that maximises the value of its component parts, without sacrificing other benefits of the equipment or causing excessive utilisation.

This has been achieved by combining Centrica’s patented FlexPondTM software platform with sonnen’s pioneering capabilities to build virtual communities of home batteries, with the companies teaming up to deploy advanced algorithms and AI that can orchestrate how and when to charge and discharge batteries or how and when to turn up or down flexible electricity consuming devices in near-real timCentrica currently operates 2.5GW of Virtual Power Plants in Europe, North America and Asia through its Centrica Business Solutions division and announced in September of 2019 that it had adapted its software platform to include residential devices such as smart electric hot water tanks from start-up, Mixergy.

About Centrica

Centrica is a leading international energy services and solutions provider, founded on a 200-year heritage of serving people. Through our two customer-facing divisions, Centrica Consumer and Centrica Business, we supply energy, services and solutions to over 26 million customer accounts. We serve customers across the UK, Ireland, North America and Continental Europe through strong brands such as British Gas, supported by around 13,000 highly trained engineers and technicians. We are focused on satisfying the changing needs of our customers, enabling them to transition to a lower carbon future. Our aim is to reduce emissions in line with the Paris climate goals by 2030 and develop a path to net zero by 2050.

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