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Now also available at home: Grid stability through PBP from small-scale solar power storage systems

The 2017 German Renewables Act (EEG) paved the way for the commercial use of innovative energy storage technologies. In addition to large-scale battery storage power stations and intermediate storage solutions for fluctuating generation technologies, this also includes swarm storage solutions. Even though the output of an individual small-scale storage system is low, these add up and, as a result, become interesting and important for the energy system. Against this backdrop, the control expert Ampard AG and Energy2market GmbH (e2m) as the operator of virtual power plants have presented a solution at the Conference of German Municipal Utility Providers (VKU) in Mainz. This innovation combines local self-supply with high-quality system services and, as a result, achieves high profitability.

In combination with a storage system, the AMPARD energy management system provided by Ampard AG enables operators of photovoltaic systems to increase their consumption of own power generated and, as a result, to reduce their power procurement costs. Every small solar power storage system is connected to the specialised Ampard AG virtual power plant (VPP) through the integrated communications interface making it part of an intelligent and concurrently controllable swarm and, hence, of a storage pool. In parallel with the use for own consumption – and, therefore, almost unnoticed by the operator – the small storage systems aggregated within the swarm can optionally also be used to stabilise the distribution or transmission system. At present, the focus is on the provision of primary balancing power (PBP) which is marketed by the e2m VPP.

“In addition to various technical questions, the biggest challenge was developing a solution whose structure corresponds to regulatory requirements”, explained Philipp Eisenring, Ampard AG CEO, at a press meeting. “Based on the good cooperation between both partners we have succeeded in developing a solution giving small storage systems access to the lucrative primary balancing power market - even though it took longer than originally expected. As a result, we have taken another important step towards decentralisation”, added Gregor Wölm, e2m head of power company and industry sales.

Like conventional power storage facilities, a storage system equipped with AMPARD buffers the power generated unless it can be used immediately. However, thanks to AMPARD, a storage system is much more than a conventional battery: Together, all components form a state-of-the-art energy centre. In addition to the storage system, AMPARD also smartly controls flexible household loads, such as heat pumps or charging stations for electrically powered cars. In this context, the interlinking of all systems in a virtual power plant forms the particularly innovative element of the AMPARD model. As a result, central power storage systems can directly participate in the balancing power market for the first time – employing a concept purely based on a commercial approach. This function is a unique feature in the market. Together with the e2m market access, the Ampard AG control solution enables energy suppliers and municipal utilities to develop an attractive overall package for final consumers.

In 2015, Ampard AG became the first company in Europe to launch PBP market access services in Switzerland with a swarm of small storage systems. The cooperation with e2m now also provides this option for the German market.

For e2m, the cooperation with Ampard AG is another and important element of its storage activities. This operator of one of the biggest virtual power plants in Germany has been helping to develop a commercially viable solution for large-scale industrial storage systems, the integration of battery storage systems in wind farms and concepts for micro-storage systems, such as those of Ampard AG, for some considerable time.

 

About Ampard AG
Ampard AG develops and operates intelligent energy management systems. This Swiss company (set up in 2011) is considered as being one of the ten global innovation leaders for operating systems of interconnected storage systems (Navigant Research, USA). The AMPARD control software consolidates power storage systems into one virtual power plant. This enables marketing of balancing power and further grid services. More information on Ampard at: www.ampard.com

About Energy2market GmbH
As an independent trading company operating throughout Europe, Energy2market GmbH specialises in managing and optimising dynamic portfolios and marketing the flexibility derived from decentralised generation and consumption systems. With a marketed generation capacity of renewable energy of more than 3,400 MW, e2m is one of the biggest providers of market access services in Germany. It has the infrastructure required for marketing flexibility as well as access to all German and to international trading markets. As an international group, e2m has subsidiaries in Poland, Austria, Italy and Scandinavia.

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