The “world’s first virtual power plant” to be used with a smart grid system has been launched in the Faroe Islands.
Called the ‘Power Hub’, it uses an advanced IT system that controls small and medium sized distributed energy resources. It is aimed at increasing the level of sustainable energy in the Faroese electricity grid and ensuring security of supply.
Electricity in the Faroe Islands is currently generated by diesel generators (60%), hydropower (35%) and wind power (5%). The power system has been exposed to a high number of outages leaving households without power for short periods, with around 30 outages per year and one in three resulting in blackouts in the islands.
DONG Energy and Faroese electric utility SEV claim the “groundbreaking innovation” will help balance the grid by shifting supply and demand across the islands in a matter of seconds or in other words, delivering the “fast frequency demand response”. It is also designed to protect against sudden power failures and reduce intermittency.
Evert den Boer, Senior Vice President of International Sales at DONG Energy said: “We are delighted to see that the fast frequency demand response solution works and in fact strengthens the operational performance of the Faroese power system. Smart grid solutions are the future and will play an important role in Europe’s green transition. This bears witness to the solution’s replication potential and we are already exploring how it can be commercialised.”
Power Hub is backed by the EU’s ‘Twenties’ research and development project, aimed at developing new ways of integrating large volumes of renewable energy into grids by 2020.