Siemens pilots virtual power plant project in Finland

Its software intelligently balances electrical loads from buildings that have been connected in a microgrid, incorporating renewable energy and battery storage

Siemens is currently piloting a virtual power plant (VPP) project in Finland in an effort to expand the potential for green energy and help balance the grid in the country.

It is working with the Finnish Government for the initiative using its software platform called Vibeco (Virtual Buildings Ecosystem), which intelligently balances electrical loads from buildings that have been connected in a microgrid, incorporating renewable energy and battery storage.

Siemens says the VPP makes it possible to combine the small electrical loads of buildings or industrial sites so building operators can sell energy back to the reserve market.

The service helps balance electricity consumption by decreasing the need for reserve power and consequently cutting carbon emissions.

The Finnish national grid operator, Fingrid, compensates property owners when the VPP feeds energy into the grid, with the government providing 8.4 million (£7.4m) for the required technology investments.

Siemens currently has two pilot customers – Finnish Railways will connect to the Helsinki Central Station as well as two train depots in a microgrid to create a VPP and Lappeenranta, a city of 75,000 people, will also kick off with nine public buildings, scaling up to connect 50 more to a city microgrid.

Markku Mäki-Hokkonen, Development Manager of the City of Lappeenranta said: “The virtual power plant service decreases the environmental impact of the city and provides additional income.”

Cedrik Neike, Chief Executive Officer Siemens Smart Infrastructure added: “We are shaping a new market at the grid edge with this technology. Together with the State of Finland, we are pioneering a model for decentralised energy systems to benefit utilities, business and society. The complexity of balancing loads across buildings, the grid and even with eMobility infrastructure requires deep domain expertise in the demand and supply areas.”

Siemens has also announced the launch a new business unit to expand its VPP activity.

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