24 Feb '12, 5pm

Virtual Power Plants, Real Power

The Danish island of Bornholm , a quiet farming and fishing community of 42 000 in the Baltic Sea, will soon be home to one of the world’s smartest smart grids. Through the four-year, €21 million (US $28 million) EcoGrid project , about 2000 households there will be connected to an island-spanning network that will enable homeowners to cut back their electricity usage at times of peak demand and sell that unused wattage back to the grid at market rates. Managing all of these thousands of discrete energy trades, as well as Bornholm’s other power resources—including 36 megawatts of wind power, a 16-MW biomass plant, and a new fleet of electric cars—will be a central control system that behaves very much like a traditional power generator. Only this generator will be created entirely through software—a virtual power plant.
 As its name implies, a virtual power plant doesn’t e...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/the-smarter-grid/virtual-...

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