Power Grid

08 Apr 2024

China's Virtual Power Plants Pave Way for Green Energy Transition

08 Apr 2024  by en.people.   
China is developing virtual power plants to achieve energy savings and promote the transition to greener energy.

These virtual facilities act as "invisible" power facilities, bringing together various electricity users, distributed power sources, and energy storage providers through coordination to ensure a balance between power generation and consumption.

For wind and solar power generation, factors like the presence or absence of wind, varying wind speeds, and the intensity of sunlight all affect the amount of electricity generated, said Cong Zhipeng, deputy head of the power dispatch control center of the Yantai branch of the State Grid Corporation of China in east China's Shandong Province.

The intermittent, random, and fluctuating nature of these factors makes it more challenging to regulate the power system, Cong added.

With the rapid advancement of China's new energy infrastructure, the proportion of installed capacity from renewable sources is steadily increasing, which also highlights the challenges related to balance and security within the electrical grid system.

By fully leveraging the regulatory potential of virtual power plants, the costs of operation are significantly reduced.

In a smart control platform for virtual power plants launched in August last year in Yantai, a large screen displays real-time monitoring of resource access, electricity load, and power trading data.

The 242,000-kilowatt capacity adjustable load resource pool, built by the Dongfang Electronics Co., Ltd., has achieved interconnection with both State Grid Shandong Electric Power Company and the State Grid's Yantai branch, said Dong Wenjie, head of the comprehensive energy business department of Dongfang Electronics Co., Ltd.

As resources from various regions continue to be integrated, the orderly establishment of a 500,000-kilowatt adjustable load resource pool will be realized, Dong said.

According to a document released by the National Development and Reform Commission and the National Energy Administration in March, it is necessary to define market access, clearing, and settlement standards for distributed new energy sources, virtual power plants, and other new entities and formats.

Despite the lack of fully developed business models, government support and ongoing exploration indicate a promising future for virtual power plants, which will encourage greater participation from businesses and residents, thus aiding the transition to green energy, said Dong.

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