Technology at its Finest: Introducing Virtual Power Plants

Diamond Scott, Columnist

We all know the wonders of technology and its huge involvement in our lives – both the good and the bad. As we enter a new era, technology continues to evolve and is now making it possible to combat our biggest enemy yet, global warming.

The reason this is possible is because of a new invention called Virtual Power Plant Technology (VPP). This new tech is a huge advancement for humans because it presents the possibility that we will no longer need to depend on the weather for renewable energy. This is because VPP stores the electricity that’s supplied from renewable sources, so even when the sun has said goodnight and the wind isn’t blowing, we will still be able to use the energy stored in the plant.

A VPP, in the words of Next Kraftwerkef, a company that operates one of Europe’s largest VPPs, is “a virtual power plant is a network of decentralized, medium-scale power generating units such as wind farms, solar parks, and Combined Heat and Power (CHP) units, as well as flexible power consumers and storage systems. The interconnected units are dispatched through the central control room of the Virtual Power Plant but nonetheless remain independent in their operation and ownership.”

This showcases just how important the invention is and how it can change the way we live and function. According to Phil Taylor of National Centre for Energy Systems Integration in Newcastle, England, we will no longer need to carry fossil fuels in order to provide controllable energy.

The main goal of VPP is to recycle renewable energy in order to reduce grid consumption. Jahnavi Sajip, a Project Manager and Electrical Engineer at New York Engineers, states that the benefits include flexible configuration, power grid load reduction, and higher reliability. A quick summary of these three is that a VPP can expand by adding new distributed energy resources to its’ virtual platform, energy flows are distributed in a way that reduces the load on power lines, and if an error affects one of the generation systems connected to the VPP, there’s only a tiny loss of capacity.

This is a huge win for our world of innovation and technology, and it is also great knowing we aren’t at a loss for combating global warming. So, as a new decade begins to make its appearance, hopefully VPP will become a worldwide phenomenon.