ABB and Deutsche Telekom develop cloud-based solution for virtual power plants in Germany

2013-07-04 - Innovative solution leverages demand response management software to manage distributed energy resources and facilitate smart grid deployment

By ABB Communications

A new cloud-based solution that enables energy providers to manage virtual power plants from the cloud is now ready for commercial use in Germany. The solution, which leverages demand response management software from Ventyx, an ABB company, was developed in collaboration with Deutsche Telekom. It has been tested extensively as part of the T-City project – a technology lab sponsored by Deutsche Telekom in partnership with the city of Friedrichshafen, in southern Germany, and is now ready for commercial use.

Virtual power plants enable energy providers to aggregate small, local plants – as well as demand response programs, energy storage and other distributed power sources – into larger “virtual” power plants that can react more flexibly and rapidly to balance out energy surpluses or local short-falls. As a result, energy providers can compensate for the significant fluctuations in wind and solar energy production and optimize the performance of the grid.

The overall solution includes Demand Response Management System (DRMS) software, which supports commercial and retail utility operations required to manage distributed energy resources and optimize smart grid deployment. It also includes secure IT and communications infrastructure enabling distributed electricity generators such as combined heat and power plants to exchange data with utilities or other energy companies. The software to manage the power plants is provided by Ventyx, ABB’s dedicated enterprise software entity and Deutsche Telekom looks after the IT infrastructure and data communication.

"Through the cloud solution, customers only pay for the service that they use. They save on expenses for creating their own IT infrastructure and software. Expensive capital investments can thus be transformed into flexible operating costs," said Andreas Knobloch, responsible for Strategy & Communications in the Strategic Market Energy at Deutsche Telekom.

"Deutsche Telekom and ABB have been developing common solutions for energy system developments since 2010, including an intelligent secondary substation that enables energy operators to accommodate more renewable energy,” said Jens Birgersson, head of ABB's Network Management business unit, within the company’s Power systems division.“ This joint development will help to deliver reliable and more environmentally friendly energy.”

ABB is uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between enterprise information technologies (IT) and operational technologies (OT) by combining its vast product and system portfolio and long-standing domain expertise across utilities and industry with Ventyx software solutions. The combination of IT and OT enables these customers to make faster and better-informed decisions in daily operations and long-term planning, helping some of the world’s largest organizations to minimize risk and enhance operational and financial performance.

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