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ECN publication
Short-term economics of virtual power plants
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Efficiency & Infrastructure 26-8-2009
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-M--09-111 Conference Paper
Number of pages: Full text:
4 Download PDF  

Presented at: 20th International Conference on Electricity Distribution, Prague, Czech Republic, 8-11 juni 2009.

The Virtual Power Plant (VPP) has gained an increasing interest over the last few years. A VPP is a flexible representation of a portfolio of Distributed Energy Resources (DER: distributed generation, demand response and electricity storage). One of the key activities of a VPP is the delivery of (near-)real-time balancing services. In order to operate such a (near-)real-time coordination activity optimally, the VPP needs to maintain a dynamic merit-order list of all DER participating in the VPP. In order to make optimal decisions based on this list, the merit order needs to be based on the true marginal cost (or marginal benefit in case of demand response) of the individual DER units. The marginal electricity costs of most types of DER are highly dependent on local context and, hence, change over time. From analysis of the short-term bid strategies of various DER units, the existence of a bid strategy spectrum becomes clear. On one end of the spectrum, bidding strategies are based straightforwardly on true marginal cost or benefit. Further along the spectrum, optimal bidding strategies become less dependent on marginal cost levels and more on the price dynamics in the (VPP) market context. These results are relevant for VPP operations both from business and technical perspectives.

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