Virtual Power Plant
A Virtual Power Plant ("VPP") aggregates distributed energy generation capacity, energy storage and energy consumers under the control of dynamic cloud based systems to balance energy supply and demand between its members and the national grid.
A Virtual power Plant reduces overall energy demand and CO2 emissions by harnessing renewable energy and allocating the time of use of energy in the most efficient and resilient manner.
A virtual power plant may combine a number of different electricity generation systems - wind, solar, hydro and CHP - with a number of different storage options - battery storage, pumped hydro, EVs - and serve a variety of consumers - offices, homes, businesses, individuals - who may be producers as well as consumers. A VPP may also convert one form of energy into another when, for example, surplus electricity can be used to produce hydrogen for use at a later time to drive fuel cell vehicles.
The principles of Demand Side Management are used to shift demand for electricity away from peak hours to off-peak hours. The same principles can be extended to shift the time of generation of heat from electricity from hours of peak demand to off-peak hours by exploiting heat storage in hot water cylinders and by exploiting the thermal mass of buildings to store heat.
Integrated Community Energy Systems
Integrated Community Energy Systems (ICES) consist of local energy smart grids that serve a community. While the ideas behind ICES are the same as those used to create a Virtual Power Plant, the term ICES often refers to small community systems that may even be independent of the national grid.
An Innovate UK funded demonstration pioneering the electrification of heat, the electrification of transport and a Virtual Power Plant is being established in Shoreham, West Sussex.
ICAX is partnered with Moixa, PassivSystems, Connected Energy, ITM Power and others in the SmartHubs SLES project in Shoreham-by-Sea.
ICAX is providing marine source heat pumps in the project and designing an abstraction and rejection system to provide heat to the Shoreham Port Authority.
Balancing Supply and Demand for Electricity
See brief video on Balancing supply and demand for electricity: