cVPP - Community-based Virtual Power Plant: a novel model of radical decarbonisation based on empowerment of low-carbon community driven energy initiatives


Project Summary

A community-based Virtual Power Plant (cVPP)

Although local power generation by renewable sources is increasing, it has not yet had a real impact on radical decarbonisation of the energy sector, Changes need to be made by unlocking the potential of the prosumer. This project proposes a community-based Virtual Power Plant (cVPP), a novel model that can help organise & significantly boost renewable energy production & distribution at a local level.

 

Taking the VPP a step further

A virtual power plant (VPP) refers to a cluster of dispersed generator units, controllable loads & storage systems, aggregated to operate as a unique power plant. It enables integration of renewables & flexibility in demand in energy markets. Several VPP designs exist on the market developed by various organisations, however, implementation remained limited due to a top-down focus on technical parameters. The community-based version of a VPP is bottom-up and focusses on sustainability issues, by organizing a form of Collective Power, that is increasing the level of participation and control of the local community. The cVPP thus aims at taking the development of the VPP a step further.

 

Empowering prosumers - raising awareness - facilitate upscaling

The concept offers a community the opportunity to provide its energy needs with small-scale, distributed low-carbon technologies with participation from individual consumers, local energy companies or SMEs. It can empower prosumers and contribute to the democratisation of energy markets. This process spurs awareness & public engagement in the energy transition. By doing so, it facilitates upscaling of low-carbon energy community-driven initiatives that have, so far, missed critical mass to trigger the energy transition.

 

This project will…

  1. jointly conceptualise & test cVPP in 3 different markets of BE, NL, IRL with an aim to maximise interconnectedness of the cVPPs, joint influence & learning about different institutional contexts influencing implementation of cVPP;
  2. co-create a Mobilisation& Replication (MoRe) model based on practical lessons from realisation of different cVPP designs in 3 locations & cultures, supported by theoretical insights & interviews. MoRe aims to enable the propagation of cVPP to other territories by accounting for local preferences & aims and by provision of guidance to communities on how to address emerging barriers to cVPP implementation in their areas;
  3. Test & assess the MoRe by replicating in follower communities that will be identified & actively engaged in the process. After its end, the project will contribute to further roll-out of the cVPP to other NEW & European areas by dissemenation of business plans & guidance.

 

Long Term aspirations

In 10 years, the investments will stimulate the development of ca 50 new cVPPs in Europe, motivating environmental (450 KT CO2 emission reduction), social (4500 jobs) & economic (25000 houses with improved energy classification) effects that will proliferate further into the future. This replication will form the basis for the establishment of the EU cVPP network.

Learn about our partners! Visit tab PROJECT PARTNERS.

Events

WEBINAR | Energy communities supporting the energy transition Interreg NWE project “community based Virtual Power Plant”

19-06-2020 - 19-06-2020, Sustainable Energy Week | WEBINAR | Friday 19th June 2020 | 10:00 - 11:30

The European energy system is changing rapidly. Decentralization, democratization and RES penetration are offering new social and technical challenges. Also roles are changing in t... Read more

View more

News

We are proud to announce that cVPP won the EUSEW Citizens' Award 2020 !

Posted on 23-06-2020

Thank you for your vote ! We did it! Thank you everyone for your support and votes! Very proud that our community-based Virtual Power Plant project Interreg North West Europe (N... Read more

Power for the people

Posted on 09-03-2020

Power for the people - Renewable Electricity auction now open for community energy The first auction for the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS 1) is open for applicati... Read more

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Project Partners

Lead partner

Organisation Address Email Website
Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (TU/e) 5 Groene Loper
Eindhoven
5612 AE
Netherlands
a.j.wieczorek@tue.nl www.tue.nl
Name Contact Name Email Country
Tipperary Energy Agency (TEA) Paul Kenny paul@tippenergy.ie Ireland
Stichting Duurzame Projecten Loenen (DPL) Willem Dikker Hupkes willem@dikkerhupkes.nl Netherlands
EnerGent Lieven Demolder demolder.lieven@gmail.com Belgium
Gemeente Apeldoorn (GA) Randall Hanegraaf R.Hanegraaf@ovij.nl Netherlands
Kamp C Maro Saridaki maro.saridaki@kampc.be Belgium
Templederry Renewable energy Supply Limited. T/A Community Renewable energy supply (CRES) Noel Carey Ncarey77@gmail.com Ireland
Tipperary County Council (TCC) Marion O’Neill Marion.oneill@tipperarycoco.ie Ireland
Sub-Partner 1 (TU/e): Duneworks
Sub-Partner 2 (TEA): Friends of the Earth Ireland (FOEI)
Sub-Partner 3 (DPL): Alliander
Sub-Partner 4 (DPL): USEF
Sub-Partner 5 (EnerGent): Ecopower
Sub-Partner 6 (CRES): Claremorris and western District Energy Cooperative Ltd
Sub-Partner 7 (CRES): Limerick Community Grocery Ltd (The Urban Co-Op)
Sub-Partner 8 (CRES): Energy Communities Tipperary Cooperative Ltd
Sub-Partner 9 (CRES): Aran Islands Energy Cooperative
Sub-Partner 10 (CRES): Smart M Power Ltd

News


We are proud to announce that cVPP won the EUSEW Citizens' Award 2020 !

Posted on

Thank you for your vote ! We did it! Thank you everyone for your support and votes! Very proud that our community-based Virtual Power Plant project Interreg North West Europe (NWE) has won the Citizens' Award in the European Sustainable Energy Week #EUSEW2020! #cvppproject It's a game-changer project that accelerates the energy transition through community empowerment. It has been demonstrated, evaluated and replicated in 3 countries: Belgium, Ireland and the Netherlands. Read More

Vote for cVPP

Posted on

The cVPP-project is nominated for the EU Sustainable Energy Citizens’ Awards ! VOTING open until 15 juni 23:59 We are happy to announce that the cVPP project (community-based Virtual Power Plant) has been nominated for the EU Sustainable Energy Awards and we now request your support ! Every year the European Commission recognises the most outstanding individuals and projects for their innovation in the energy sector and renewables. This year, 9 finalists will compete in 3 award categories: Engagement, Innovation and Youth. The TU/e-led and Interreg NWE-funded community-based Virtual Power Plant (cVPP) project has been nominated to the Engagement category. We are one of the three finalists ! Read More

Power for the people

Posted on

Power for the people - Renewable Electricity auction now open for community energy The first auction for the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS 1) is open for applications from today, Monday 9th March, with the first auction due to take place over the summer. It is the first time community led renewable energy projects will be recognised and supported in Ireland. Read More

Kick-off on Monday 2 December and Tuesday 10 December 2019 | Loenen (NL)

Posted on

EN | For every interested Loenen residents, not just the more than 80 participants who already visited our workshops, we organize a kick-off meeting on Monday 2 December and Tuesday 10 December 2019. During this evening (from 7.30 p.m. to 9 p.m.) the project will be explained again. Everyone who then definitively registers as a participant will receive a so-called EARN-E for free. That is a smart device (value 30 euros) with app that gives you a simple insight into your electricity consumption and the idea behind the virtual power plant! Our goal is to recruit at least 100 participants in Loenen, so hear it and continue! In September we informed you in the newsletter about the progress of the virtual power plant, also known as cVPP. The tender for the Energy Management System, the heart of the plant, was still ongoing. In the meantime, after a careful process, the ICT Automatisering BV company has been chosen to build and implement the system. So we are really starting now! Read More

Three winning energycommunities in the Province of Antwerp

Posted on

EN | Three winning energy citizen movements come from the province of Antwerp. Kamp C, the Provincial Center for Sustainability and Innovation, announces three winning citizens' initiatives that want to generate energy themselves. They participated in the Open Call "Dreaming Dare to Do | Together strong for the energy transition3" of the cVPP project. ZuidtrAnt cvba-so & Stalinsstraat in Deurne, Cohousing BM Gummaar in Mechelen and Klimaan CV receive a check of 2000 euros and guidance to continue their project. NL| Drie winnende energieburgerbewegingen komen uit de provincie Antwerpen. Kamp C, het Provinciaal Centrum voor Duurzaamheid en Innovatie, maakt drie winnende burgerinitiatieven bekend die zelf energie willen opwekken. Zij namen deel aan de Open Oproep ‘Dromen Durven Doen | Samen sterk voor de energietransitie’ van het cVPP-project. ZuidtrAnt cvba-so & Stalinsstraat in Deurne, Burgerlijke Maatschap Gummaar in Mechelen en Klimaan CV krijgen een cheque van 2000 euro en begeleiding om hun project verder te zetten. Read More


Events


EU SUSTAINABLE ENERGY WEEK (EUSEW)

, Brussel

The Policy Conference of EUSEW 2020 will take place from 23 to 25 June 2020. Registration for the conference will be launched in April 2020. WHAT IS THE EU SUSTAINABLE ENERGY WEEK (EUSEW)? The EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) is a two month-long series of activities across Europe promoting secure, clean and efficient energy. It brings together policymakers, stakeholders and citizens to achieve climate and energy goals for the Energy Union. Launched in 2006, EUSEW is organised by the European Commission (Directorate-General for Energy and the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises). The Policy Conference is the biggest European conference dedicated to renewables and efficient energy use in Europe. Sessions organised by the European Commission and energy stakeholders focus on sustainable energy issues, debate new policy developments, best practices and sustainable energy ideas. Next to the conference, the Networking Village brings the EUSEW Community together to forge alliances whilst the EUSEW Awards celebrate outstanding projects and ideas.
Read More

WEBINAR | Energy communities supporting the energy transition Interreg NWE project “community based Virtual Power Plant”

, Sustainable Energy Week | WEBINAR | Friday 19th June 2020 | 10:00 - 11:30

The European energy system is changing rapidly. Decentralization, democratization and RES penetration are offering new social and technical challenges. Also roles are changing in the local energy system, transforming business models and asking for involvement from all participants: citizens, private companies and municipalities. The Clean Energy Package of EU provides the opportunity to citizen initiatives to take new roles in the energy system, including those related to aggregation, storage, local supply or sharing. This new framework also provides a collaboration tool between all the actors in the integrated energy system. The question however is How can prosumers and communities prepare to take on the new roles and become active players in the market? Which roles are possible? How can communities organize themselves? What technology can support them?
Read More

CANCELLED | Competition - price announcement cVPP | Apeldoorn NL

, Werkgebouw Zuid (Aruba 4, 7332 BK Apeldoorn)

Onderwerp: Invitation to the competition - price announcement 17th of March Dear partners, As you all know Gemeente Apeldoorn has organised a competition for the cVPP project. We have challenged residents of Apeldoorn to design a Virtual Power Plant (or first steps towards it), and we provided several workshops and guidance in order to facilitate the participants. The content of the workshops would not have been possible without all the knowledge and help from the cVPP team! So first of all, a big thanks to all of you!
Read More

La Pile | expo

, Kamp C | Britselaan 20 - 2260 Westerlo | België

At The 21st century, as we enter the second century of the electric grid, prototyping and pioneerig are more relevant than ever: we need more electricty - to squeeze oranges, brush our teeth and other vital activities - , at the same time we realise that every Killowatthour is a weight on the environment. The electricty sector is in flux, so now is the time to shape better. And to give citizens a say. la Pile identified 14 electricity pioneers of today. An exhibition in Kamp C shows their achievements, ambitions and bottle necks. One of the pioneers is Energent, one of the cVPP-partners with Buurzame Stroom.
Read More


Environmental & socio-economic challenges

North-West Europe is confronted with a need to reduce its carbon footprint. Transition to more sustainable energy system is needed, where regional & local authorities & other stakeholders play a key role. Low-carbon community-driven energy initiatives are emerging everywhere in NWE region & offer potential to considerably decarbonise the energy sector. However, integration of distributed power sources with local demand-side management & storage into local networks, poses additional socio-economic challenges. E.g. to be able to increase the generation by distributed sources & increase efficiency, these local initiatives need to expand, both in number of participants & regarding replication of successful initiatives in other regions.

Empowering local communities 

Another key aspect is how to organise involvement of local communities. Several regulatory & institutional issues have to be solved. An important condition to achieve this is that the communities become main beneficiaries of the integrated local system; either directly (distributing profits) or indirectly (financing community level projects). A community-based Virtual Power Plant (cVPP), proposed in this project, offers an attractive concept for empowerment of these initiatives.

Technological challenges

A VPP is a cluster of dispersed generator units, controllable loads & storage systems, aggregated to operate as a unique power plant. It enables integration of renewables & flexibility in demand in national energy markets. A central part of VPP is the energy management system (EMS), software that coordinates the power flows. Early VPPs have been largely top-down projects focused on solving grid issues for network operators & developing markets for utilities & aggregators. They now seem to enter commercial phase. Several companies are offering software solutions (esp. in Germany: Siemens, LichtBlick, Next Kraftwerke, E.On). However, these applications are still mainly limited to test locations & pilot projects, although the scale & number of connections is increasing. In other NWE countries, only a few initiatives have been set up, mainly by network operators & aggregators. These designs however focus on technical aspects only & do not account for user role & markets.

Innovation closer to the people

In line with societal developments, the innovative cVPP concept proposed here is more bottom-up & focusses on sustainability issues: GHG emission reductions, RES-maximisation & socio-economic community development. By organising a form of Collective Power, that is increasing the level of participation & control of the local community, the cVPP takes the development of VPP a step further. The concept offers a community the opportunity to provide its energy needs with small-scale, distributed low-carbon technologies with participation from individual consumers/prosumers, local energy companies or SMEs. Also, the option of introducing localised markets will be explored. For this, regulatory changes are probably needed, depending on the local conditions.

CVPP was presented in the course named USE-base in the track Co-Creation, a course for bachelor students. 

How explain cVPP to the people?

Sharing knowledge through territorial cooperation

Joint implementation of 3 cVPPs demands joint design & its adaptation to & learning from local conditions. This includes options of locally available renewable sources & demand management, differences in the way energy markets & sector are organised & socio-cultural differences between communities in the participating countries. Investment proposals in this project address some of the local & national requirements for cVPP. By creating 3 cVPPs based on common design, we will develop a model for implementing cVPPs in other locations, taking into account local preferences, aims, laws & regulations. Using so far experiences of Germany (& other countries) & learning from each of the 3 cVPPs proposed, this project offers opportunity to develop & replicate a completely new way of organising low-carbon & sustainable energy system. Without intensive territorial cooperation it would be impossible to reach the project objectives.

We would like to share with you some of our project results. Happy reading!

 

Slotevent cVPP | Friday 19th June 2020 | 10:00 - 11:30 (CEST) 

Energy communities supporting the energy transition | Interreg NWE project “community based Virtual Power Plant” 

The European energy system is changing rapidly. Decentralization, democratization and RES penetration are offer new socio-technical opportunities. Also roles are changing in the local energy systems, transforming business models and asking for involvement from citizens, private companies and municipalities. The Clean Energy Package of EU provides the opportunity to citizen initiatives to take new roles in the energy system, including those related to aggregation, storage, local supply or sharing. The question, however, is how can prosumers and communities prepare to take on the new roles and become active players in the market? Which roles are possible? How can communities organize themselves? What technology can support them? During this event we will discuss a community-based Virtual Power Plant (cVPP).

cVPP is an ICT-based control system that allows for aggregation of community-owned distributed energy resources (e.g. PV on roofs) and flexible assets (EV, heat pump, battery). Thanks to cVPP, prosumers in a community can collectively perform a certain role in the energy system. What makes VPP community-based is not only the involvement of a community but also the community logic under which it operates. This implies that the community needs to drive the initiative, that the community owns the various assets and the ICT platform and that members collectively make decisions and choose how they organize themselves. Our goal is to share experiences with setting a cVPP in practice and offer an approach for replication of this innovation in your own community. The event is targeting all energy communities, energy consultants, project managers and citizen audience.

The program includes 3 short presentations and a Q&A session coupled with a panel discussion.

10:00 – 10:10 Welcome note Moderator René van Egmond Translyse B.V

10:10 – 10:30 The what & why of a cVPP: The role of energy communities in energy transition dr. ir. Anna J Wieczorek TU Eindhoven

10:30 – 10:50 Experiences with social-cVPP in Ghent, Belgium Luc Meskens Energy cooperative EnerGent

10:50 – 11:10 Experiences with rural-cVPP in Loenen, The Netherlands André Zeijseink Loenen Energie Neutraal

11:10 – 11:30 Q&A with panel of replicating communities Community representatives Belgium, Netherlands, Ireland

See the presentations in the related links. 

The what & why of a cVPP: The role of energy communities in energy transition | dr. ir. Anna J Wieczorek TU Eindhoven

Experiences with social-cVPP in Ghent, Belgium | Luc Meskens Energy cooperative EnerGent

Experiences with rural-cVPP in Loenen, The Netherlands | André Zeijseink Loenen Energie Neutraal

Community energy meets smart grids: Reviewing goals, structure, and roles in Virtual Power Plants in Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands

What is a community-based Virtual Power Plant (cVPP)?

cVPP Replication

Project Partners:

Why are we involved in the cVPP |

community-based Virtual Power Plant?

Have a look at the interviews...

Community energy meets smart grids: Reviewing goals, structure, and roles in Virtual Power Plants in Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands

Luc F.M. van Summeren | Corresponding author.

Community-driven energy initiatives are seen as important drivers of the energy transition. So far these initiatives focused mainly on energy generation and conservation. Recently however, some initiatives started to adopt smart grid technologies like Virtual Power Plants (VPP) which enables them to become involved in the distribution, trading and management of energy. A novel model for energy provision; the community-based Virtual Power Plant.

Three practical cases in Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands highlight the diversity of cVPPs, that results from different choices and trade-offs made by various communities in diverse institutional contexts. Applying the cVPP conceptualization made visible that the three cVPPs had to comply with the incumbent energy system, making it difficult to play the preferred roles in the energy system, operate on the scale of their community and to keep their own needs and values center stage.

In Belgium: EnerGent.. 

EnerGent

Sint-Amandsberg measures the impact of solar panels on the electricity grid

Sint-Amandsberg measures the impact of solar panels on the electricity grid 05/07/19 | channel Z | Thierry Roman journalist
In one year, 2000 solar panels have been added to the densely populated neighborhood of Sint-Amandsberg in Dampoort. The city now wants to investigate the impact of this substantial increase on the electricity grid. Fifteen families are participating in the study.

De burgercoöperatie EnerGent heeft 334 zonnepanelen gelegd op het dak van de ALDI Dampoort. 

De Aldi wordt sinds kort 60% aangedreven door zonne-energie. 

Aldi 60% aangedreven door zonne-energie

community based VIRTUAL POWER PLANT

Technological challenges

A VPP is a cluster of dispersed generator units, controllable loads & storage systems, aggregated to operate as a unique power plant. It enables integration of renewables & flexibility in demand in national energy markets. A central part of VPP is the energy management system (EMS), software that coordinates the power flows. Early VPPs have been largely top-down projects focused on solving grid issues for network operators & developing markets for utilities & aggregators. They now seem to enter commercial phase. Several companies are offering software solutions (esp. in Germany: Siemens, LichtBlick, Next Kraftwerke, E.On). However, these applications are still mainly limited to test locations & pilot projects, although the scale & number of connections is increasing. In other NWE countries, only a few initiatives have been set up, mainly by network operators & aggregators. These designs however focus on technical aspects only & do not account for user role & markets.

stories, experiences and inspiration | to be continued

Community-driven energy initiatives are seen as important drivers of the energy transition. So far these initiatives focused mainly on energy generation and conservation. Recently however, some initiatives started to adopt smart grid technologies like Virtual Power Plants (VPP) which enables them to become involved in the distribution, trading and management of energy. A novel model for energy provision; the community-based Virtual Power Plant.

Three practical cases in Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands highlight the diversity of cVPPs, that results from different choices and trade-offs made by various communities in diverse institutional contexts. Applying the cVPP conceptualization made visible that the three cVPPs had to comply with the incumbent energy system, making it difficult to play the preferred roles in the energy system, operate on the scale of their community and to keep their own needs and values center stage.

In Ireland: Cres and TEA 

More information about the cVPP in Ireland see Community Power 

Community Power

Energy Democracy & Community Power Webinar

Thank you to our panelists and participants for tuning into our webinar 'Energy Democracy & Community Power' yesterday evening.

Cliona Sharkey, Policy Advisor with Trócaire, Paul Kenny, CEO of Tipperary Energy Agency and John Fogarty of Community Power, Ireland’s first community owned electricity supplier joined us for a lively discussion on the question;

How can we build energy democracy in our communities so that everyone has access to community power?

If you missed it, you can watch it back here in the video below.

 

How can we build energy democracy in our communities so that everyone has access to community power?

Visitors from Dingle on a recent visit to Templederry community-owned wind farm in Co Tipperary.

Applications open for community wind and solar farms

Successful applicants will be awarded State contracts to generate power for national grid


Communities across Ireland can now get into the renewable energy business by submitting bids to build their own wind and solar developments.

Successful applicants will be awarded State contracts to generate green power for the national electricity grid.

The option is under the new Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (Ress-1) which is open from this week for applications, with contracts awarded over the summer. It is the first time community-led renewable energy projects will be recognised and supported in Ireland.

It is expected at least 10 community ventures will apply for backing through an auction system. After many years of campaigning, it has the potential to be “monumental for communities” and is pioneering in context of Europe, according to Kate Ruddock, deputy director at Friends of the Earth (FoE) .

Communities building solar or wind farms generating between 1 and 5 megawatts of power can participate. Successful renewable projects will be awarded a Government-backed contract for power produced, enabling projects to obtain capital to begin installation.

Separately, a microgeneration scheme is being piloted, which would allow domestic households, schools, and sports clubs to generate smaller amounts of power using roof-top solar PV panels.

More than 3,300 gigawatt hours (GWh) of renewable electricity overall will be auctioned for all renewable electricity technologies in the auction, most of which will be granted to big producers.

Encouraged

Communities are encouraged to develop their own renewable energy projects through the separate “community preference category”. There will also be a mandatory “community benefit fund” for all approved projects set at €2 per MWhr generated, to go directly to communities living near major wind or solar projects.

“When a community or a group of citizens come together to build a renewable energy project through a co-operative structure it is powerful,” Ms Ruddock added. “Renewable energy displaces fossil fuels from the energy system so that is a huge benefit, but more than that, when citizens and communities are active participants there are so many other benefits.”

 There are lots of owners, so economic benefits are shared widely, local jobs are created and tend to stay local, and communities can start to count on an alternative income stream, she said.

There is only one community-owned wind farm in Ireland, at Templederry, Co Tipperary. “With this new scheme we hope to see many more community solar, wind and hydro projects developed over the coming years.”

“There are still significant challenges for community energy projects to connect to the grid, and for small scale generators to sell any of their power. However, this is a very positive step in the right direction for energy democracy,” she believed.

It is an opportunity to build a virtual power plant; a network of generators of electricity that join together to operate like a single power plant. “The community-based version offers a community the opportunity to provide its energy needs with small-scale, distributed low-carbon technologies with participation from individual consumers; local energy co-operatives or companies, or SMEs.”

There are no new wires, or cables required. Communities and citizens can generate renewable power, the virtual power plant aggregates the power, and then distributes it back to its customers, Ms Ruddock explained.

Support

FoE are working with Community Power to support and enable communities to participate in building their own renewable energy solutions “by building a community-based virtual power plant” across the country. It is a partnership of community energy groups from Tipperary, Limerick, Galway, Mayo and Dublin.

Its chairman John Fogarty said: “This is a game changer for community-owned electricity generation. Ring fencing the community pot will make a huge difference. The advantage of a 100 per cent locally-owned development is enormous. All revenue generated remains within the area, giving a huge boost to the local economy”.

On Ress-1, Minister for Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton said: “Radically reducing our reliance on fossil fuel is central to responding to the climate emergency. This scheme is a crucial enabler as we decarbonise our electricity grid and move to clean, renewable energy.”

Round one would deliver an expected 30 per cent increase in renewables – equivalent of powering up to 640,000 homes every day.

“The community participation element is crucial. We must ensure local communities are involved in projects in their area if we are to deliver on the scale up required,” he added.

Some 30 GWh of capacity will be auctioned in the “community preference category”. To qualify groups must demonstrate at least 51 per cent of the development is owned by the community, and 51 per cent of all profits, dividends and surpluses derived from it are returned to the relevant community. Farmers can participate if there is a diverse shareholding. Details of RESS-1 are available on the Department of Communication, Climate Action and Environment’s website.

 

Mon, Mar 9, 2020, 21:15 Updated: Mon, Mar 9, 2020, 21:17
Kevin O'Sullivan Environment & Science Editor

community based VIRTUAL POWER PLANT

Technological challenges

A VPP is a cluster of dispersed generator units, controllable loads & storage systems, aggregated to operate as a unique power plant. It enables integration of renewables & flexibility in demand in national energy markets. A central part of VPP is the energy management system (EMS), software that coordinates the power flows. Early VPPs have been largely top-down projects focused on solving grid issues for network operators & developing markets for utilities & aggregators. They now seem to enter commercial phase. Several companies are offering software solutions (esp. in Germany: Siemens, LichtBlick, Next Kraftwerke, E.On). However, these applications are still mainly limited to test locations & pilot projects, although the scale & number of connections is increasing. In other NWE countries, only a few initiatives have been set up, mainly by network operators & aggregators. These designs however focus on technical aspects only & do not account for user role & markets.

stories, experiences and inspiration | to be continued

Community-driven energy initiatives are seen as important drivers of the energy transition. So far these initiatives focused mainly on energy generation and conservation. Recently however, some initiatives started to adopt smart grid technologies like Virtual Power Plants (VPP) which enables them to become involved in the distribution, trading and management of energy. A novel model for energy provision; the community-based Virtual Power Plant.

Three practical cases in Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands highlight the diversity of cVPPs, that results from different choices and trade-offs made by various communities in diverse institutional contexts. Applying the cVPP conceptualization made visible that the three cVPPs had to comply with the incumbent energy system, making it difficult to play the preferred roles in the energy system, operate on the scale of their community and to keep their own needs and values center stage.

In the Netherlands: Duurzaam Loenen .. 

  • More information about cVPP in Loenen |  “DE-Centrale Loenen”. 
  • More news 
  • Frequently Asked Questions 

Dorpscentrum De Brink heeft al zonnepanelen. Een veelvoud hiervan ligt straks op het distributiecentrum van Thomassen, dankzij de Loenense energiecoöperatie voor elkaar gekregen.

 ©Maarten Sprangh Photography

©Maarten Sprangh Photography

Uit de krant De Stensor van 3 maart 2020

Superzonnedak in Loenen

Duurzaam Loenen pakt flink door met panelen op distributiecentrum

Terwijl duurzaamheid op sommige plekken een worsteling is, gaat Loenen voortvarend te werk. Met nu een volgende grote stap naar schone energie.

Loenenaren haken enthousiast aan bij een groot zonneproject in hun dorp. Op een pand van transportbedrijf Thomassen komen 2760 zonnepanelen te liggen. Initiatiefnemer is de Energie Coöperatie Loenen, een samenwerkingsverband van Loenenaren die de schouders zetten onder verduurzaming van hun dorp.

De bank financiert 80 procent van het zonnedak, de leden van coöperatie zouden 20 procent van de investering moeten opbrengen. Het was even afwachten of dat idee zou aanslaan. Het antwoord is overduidelijk. In een paar weken is volledig ingetekend op de benodigde 138.000 euro, meldt Monique Harmsen, secretaris van de ECL. Oftewel op alle 2760 panelen à 50 euro. Dat enthousiasme is niet vreemd, omdat de investering een rendement oplevert dat met sparen niet te behalen is. Maar de animo zegt ook iets over wat er al een paar jaar gloeit in de Loenense gemeenschap. Er is bij een deel van de bevolking een duidelijke wil om met schone energie aan de slag te gaan. En om daarvoor zelf de handen uit de mouwen te steken.

Loenen liep in Nederland behoorlijk vooraan bij de omschakeling naar schone energie. ,,In 2013 riepen een paar mensen: wat gaan we doen?'' vertelt Harmsen. Die wilskracht leidde tot een vliegende start: Loenen won een wedstrijd over duurzaamheid. Met 200.000 euro aan EU-subsidie is een fonds opgericht waarmee Loenenaren hun huizen kunnen verduurzamen. Omdat het uitgeleende geld deels terugvloeit, is al 1,25 miljoen euro op deze manier besteed. Vooral aan isolatie en zonnepanelen, tegenwoordig worden via het fonds ook warmtepompen en

Vorig jaar is de genoemde Energie Coöperatie Loenen opgericht. Ruim honderd mensen hebben zich tot nu aangesloten. ,,Dat is goed te noemen gezien het feit dat we pas met ons eerste project bezig zijn'', meent secretaris Harmsen. De hoop is uiteraard dat nog meer mensen aanhaken. Niet omdat een grote coöperatie een doel op zich is. ,,We proberen iedereen mee te krijgen om een tweedeling in de samenleving te voorkomen. We willen niet dat duurzaamheid iets is voor mensen die het zich kunnen veroorloven.''

Huishoudens waarvoor een eigen zonnedak, om welke reden ook, niet haalbaar is, kunnen met een of twee panelen bij Thomassen meedoen.

Zo simpel als het klinkt, is het achter de schermen niet. Alleen al het zonnedak bij Thomassen kent veel uitzoekwerk. ,,Je krijgt met banken te maken, met verzekeraars, met Alliander (beheerder van het stroomnet, red.)'', somt Harmsen op. Pittige kost voor een groep vrijwilligers en enkele experts. Maar het lukt. Dankzij veel eigen kennis, ondersteuning van bijvoorbeeld de gemeente Apeldoorn en het uitwisselen van ervaringen met andere lokale energiecoöperaties.

De omschakeling naar duurzame energie is onvermijdelijk, is de overtuiging bij de ECL. Dan kan je net zo goed zelf de teugels in handen nemen. ,,Een coöperatie biedt dan een duidelijke structuur en een democratisch proces. Het past ook wel bij Loenen: proberen het zelf op te lossen.''

De bedoeling is dat het zonnedak er nog deze zomer komt. Gevoegd bij de al geïnstalleerde zonnepanelen in Loenen is er dan capaciteit om meer dan de helft van de elektriciteitsbehoefte van alle Loenense huishoudens lokaal op te wekken, stelt de ECL. En daar zal het vermoedelijk niet ophouden: dit succes ,,smaakt naar meer''

  • 5 oktober duurzaamheidsdag: totaal rond 200 bezoekers

  • 5 October sustainability day: a total of around 200 visitors

  • 22 november: ondertekening contract DPL met ICT groep voor het EMS

  • November 22: signing contract DPL with ICT group for the EMS

  • 2 december en 10 december: twee bijeenkomsten cVPP community uitrol EMS en tekenen deelnemersovereenkomsten, totaal zo’n 80 bezoekers

  • December 2 and December 10: two meetings cVPP community rollout EMS and sign participant agreements, in total about 80 visitors

  • Voor iedere geïnteresseerde Loenenaren, dus niet alleen de ruim 80 deelnemers die al eerdere onze workshops bezochten, organiseren we op maandag 2 december en dinsdag 10 december 2019, een kick-off bijeenkomst. Tijdens deze avond (van 19.30 tot 21.00 uur) wordt het project nog een keer toegelicht. Iedereen die zich dan definitief aanmeldt als deelnemer, krijgt gratis een zogenaamde EARN-E. Dat is een slim apparaatje (waarde 30 euro) met app waarmee je op eenvoudige wijze inzicht krijgt in je elektriciteitsverbruik en het idee achter de virtuele energiecentrale!

    Ons doel is om minimaal 100 deelnemers in Loenen te werven, dus hoort en zegt het voort !

    In september hebben wij je in de nieuwsbrief geïnformeerd over de voortgang van de virtuele energiecentrale ook wel cVPP genoemd. De aanbesteding voor het Energie Management Systeem, het hart van de centrale, liep toen nog. Inmiddels is na een zorgvuldig proces het bedrijf ICT Automatisering B.V., uitgekozen om het systeem te bouwen en in te voeren. We gaan dus nu écht van start!

Liandon Energy Consulting en Translyse winnen EU-aanbesteding voor de realisatie van een community-based Virtual Power Plant in Loenen

12th September 2019
Translyse has given a presentation about the cVPP among others in the presence of 12 trainees from the firm Kramp. 

Involving younger people in our cVPP project

During the execution of the Interreg cVPP project in the village of Loenen, we noticed that the average participant of our workshops was of the “older” part of the community.

This means in our case, very often with grey or less hair, and no people younger than the age of 30. And this is a pity of course for a couple of reasons:

  • Ideally you like to have a representative stake of the community
  • This project is about the future, so the future of the younger generation
  • Younger people are innovative and fresh thinking, which is beneficial for the project

Luckily we were approached by one of the project partners, the TU Eindhoven, to ask us if we would like to be the sponsor of a project for first year students in a co-creation innovation lecture. We used that opportunity to ask the three teams of about six students each, to take up the challenge how to get more younger people interested and active in our cVPP project.

We got the following deliverables after a couple of months and some interactions:

  • A analysis of the existing website: how to get it more informative and with messages to attract the younger generation
  • A manual and tips how to introduce and use Instagram as the currently popular social media tool under the youngsters. This including the advice about the best moment for posting news.
  • A video explaining why greener electricity is important and what role a cVPP could play in that
  • A couple of designs for posters that can be published in the village, e.g. in sport clubs, community house and so on.

What we learned or got confirmed is that the younger generation indeed has to be approached in a different way. Visual aspects like nice photo’s or flashy video’s are much more important than explanatory factual text. In the huge communication mix that is part of their lives, you have to stand out to get their attention. Through multiple channels, where Instagram is a good start, supported by posters and video’s and at last an informative website.

In Loenen we will also introduce gradually this additional style of communication. Also for the associated initiative to found an energy cooperative, we will set up a separate  policy and communication approach for the younger generation. We need them to shape their and our future!

more news about Loenen see

COMMUNITY BASED virtual power plant

The cVPP-concept offers a community the opportunity to provide its energy needs with small-scale, distributed low-carbon technologies with participation from individual consumers, local energy companies or SMEs. It can empower prosumers and contribute to the democratisation of energy markets. This process spurs awareness & public engagement in the energy transition. By doing so, it facilitates upscaling of low-carbon energy community-driven initiatives that have, so far, missed critical mass to trigger the energy transition.

Empowering local communities 

How to organise involvement of local communities. Several regulatory & institutional issues have to be solved. An important condition to achieve this is that the communities become main beneficiaries of the integrated local system; either directly (distributing profits) or indirectly (financing community level projects). A community-based Virtual Power Plant (cVPP), proposed in this project, offers an attractive concept for empowerment of these initiatives.

stories, experiences and inspiration | to be continued

story of Apeldoorn

BUSTOUR | Apeldoorn | the first steps to cVPP.

newsletter #4 Apeldoorn

bus tour cVPP in Apeldoorn | 9 mei

COMMUNITY BASED virtual power plant

The cVPP-concept offers a community the opportunity to provide its energy needs with small-scale, distributed low-carbon technologies with participation from individual consumers, local energy companies or SMEs. It can empower prosumers and contribute to the democratisation of energy markets. This process spurs awareness & public engagement in the energy transition. By doing so, it facilitates upscaling of low-carbon energy community-driven initiatives that have, so far, missed critical mass to trigger the energy transition.

Empowering local communities 

How to organise involvement of local communities. Several regulatory & institutional issues have to be solved. An important condition to achieve this is that the communities become main beneficiaries of the integrated local system; either directly (distributing profits) or indirectly (financing community level projects). A community-based Virtual Power Plant (cVPP), proposed in this project, offers an attractive concept for empowerment of these initiatives.

stories, experiences and inspiration | to be continued

Story Kamp C

In the spring of 2019, Kamp C is organising an inspirational co-creation trajectory:

‘Dream - Dare - Do: Community Power for Energy Transition’.

The main goal of these events is to engage, inform, encourage and empower communities to become prosumers and bring them in contact with important actors in the energy transition.

Workshops and lectures will take place, ranging from subjects such as community-building, policy, as well as the financial and technical sides of a cVPP.

 

cVPP_nieuwsbrief_#7

Drie winnende energieburgerbewegingen komen uit de provincie Antwerpen

Kamp C, het Provinciaal Centrum voor Duurzaamheid en Innovatie, maakt drie winnende burgerinitiatieven bekend die zelf energie willen opwekken. Zij namen deel aan de Open Oproep ‘Dromen Durven Doen | Samen sterk voor de energietransitie’ van het cVPP-project. ZuidtrAnt cvba-so & Stalinsstraat in Deurne,  Burgerlijke Maatschap Gummaar in Mechelen en Klimaan CV krijgen een cheque van 2000 euro en begeleiding om hun project verder te zetten.

Winnaars ZuidtrAnt, Klimaan CV en Burgerlijke Maatschap Gummaar van de Oproep ‘Dromen Durven Doen | Samen sterk voor de energietransitie’ - © Kamp C 

De klimaatproblematiek is actueler dan ooit, ook in de provincie Antwerpen. Steeds meer burgers groeperen zich om samen duurzame energie op te wekken. Kamp C inspireerde de voorbije maanden verschillende lokale burgergemeenschappen om zonnepanelen en andere duurzame energiebronnen in te zetten in hun buurt om zo samen stroom op te wekken. Elektrische deelwagens, elektrische deelbakfietsen, een opslagbatterij, een mini-warmtenet, individuele warmtepompen, … willen de Antwerpenaren graag met hun buren delen, zo blijkt.

Het Interreg Noord-West-Europa-project cVPP (community-based Virtual Power Plant) inspireerde 8 gemeenschappen die samen energie opwekken. Het gaat om:

  1. ZuidtrAnt cvba-so & Stalinsstraat / Deurne
  2. Klimaan CV / Bonheiden
  3. Burgerlijke Maatschap Gummaar / Mechelen
  4. Zonnewijzer / Wijgmaal (Leuven)
  5. Buurtsalon Vaart / Turnhout
  6. Energieteam Beerse / Beerse
  7. Zonnewind CVBA / Zandhoven – Zoersel
  8. Cohousing Ekelen / Herentals

Doen ! Open Oproep voor 3 burgerinitiatieven

Om de deelnemende gemeenschappen van het traject een duwtje in de rug te geven, lanceerde Kamp C een Open Oproep “Welke rol kan jouw gemeenschap spelen in de energietransitie?”. Acht initiatieven beantwoordden de Open Oproep met inspirerende projectideeën.

De cVPP-projectpartners (Technisch Universiteit Eindhoven, EnerGent, DuneWorks en Stichting Duurzame Projecten Loenen) hebben de volgende winnende gemeenschappen gekozen:

  1. ZuidtrAnt cvba-so & Stalinsstraat, in Deurne: “De zon is er voor iedereen en de buurt is er voor elkaar, we zetten in op energiedelen.”
  2. Klimaan CV met gemeente Bonheiden: “Concrete, rendabele en duurzame projecten met 100% rechtstreekse burgerparticipatie.”
  3. Burgerlijke Maatschap Gummaar uit Mechelen: “Wij kiezen toekomstgericht om Bijna Energie Neutraal, energie efficiënt en CO2 vrij te bouwen.”

De winnaars zullen de fase ‘Doen’ doorlopen onder begeleiding van de cVPP-projectpartners aan de hand van gepersonaliseerde workshops en krijgen een startbedrag van 2000 euro.

“Deze projecten waren het meest innoverend. De jury beoordeelde de projecten op vragen als: Wat wil de gemeenschap realiseren inzake energietransitie en CO2-reductie en met wie? Hoe wil de gemeenschap dit realiseren? Waarvoor zou de gemeenschap de 2000 euro inzetten?”, legt Maro Saridaki, projectverantwoordelijke bij Kamp C uit.

Als provinciebestuur vinden we participatie en cocreatie heel belangrijk. Burgers zijn vaak een deel van de oplossing, zeker wanneer het om duurzaamheid gaat. Vandaag zetten we 8 waardevolle lokale initiatieven en 3 laureaten in de kijker, in de hoop dat er nog heel veel zullen volgen.”, stelt Kathleen Helsen, voorzitter van Kamp C en gedeputeerde voor Europese samenwerking.

Kamp C was dit voorjaar de locatie voor het Dromen-Durven-Doen-traject van het community-based Virtual Power Plant-project (cVPP). Met deze reeks heeft Kamp C meer dan 100 deelnemers aan boord gekregen in de energietransitie. Dit traject richtte zich voornamelijk op het inspireren, informeren en ondersteunen van burgers en burgerinitiatieven die hun rol in de energietransitie willen definiëren en toepassen. Hoe kunnen burgers, samen, collectief energie opwekken, consumeren en delen? Wat heb je nodig om een virtuele energiecentrale op te zetten met je gemeenschap? Wie heb je nodig, zowel intern als extern? Waar wil je naartoe? Met behulp van de expertise van de sprekers, konden de deelnemers deze vragen beantwoorden en vervolgens een roadmap uitstippelen. Tal van interessante sprekers en cases passeerden de revue, met tastbare voorbeelden van burgers en initiatieven die de uitdaging aangingen in de energietransitie op hun eigen manier.

persmoment Kathleen Helsen | deputé Provincie Antwerpen

Presentatie | winnaar ZuidtrAnt_Stalinstraat Deurne

Presentatie | winnaar Klimaan - gemeente Bonheiden

Presentatie | winnaar BM Gummaar

Slotwoord Anna Wieczorek TU/e en cVPP

Netwerkdag Veerkrachtige Dorpen op 27 november 2019 | Workshop cVPP by Kamp C

Network Day Resilient Villages on 27 November 2019 | Workshop cVPP by Kamp C

EN | Resilient Villages Network Day on Wednesday 27 November 2019

Challenges & ingredients for a resilient village policy.
Kamp C gave a workshop on cVPP, community based Virtual Power Plant.

 

NL | Netwerkdag Veerkrachtige Dorpen op woensdag 27 november 2019

Uitdagingen & ingrediënten voor een veerkrachtig dorpenbeleid. 
Kamp C verzorgde een workshop over cVPP, community based Virtual Power Plant. 

 

OPEN CALL | what step can you take as a group in the energy transition?

Submit your idea!

Open Oproep

Open Oproep | bijlage

Dareday 2 | 4th of June 2019

Kamp C

St. Amandsberg (EnerGent) & Cohousing Kerselaer

cVPP | visit

Dareday 1 | 23th of April

Kamp C

And now Dare!

The dreams and associated questions form the basis of the Daring process "Together strong for energy transition". The ultimate goal is to create a potential map with which the community can get to work with the support of speakers and experts who respond to their dreams and questions.

More than 30 participants had the opportunity to follow inspiring presentations during the 1st Daring Day. Three cVPP project partners, Ruth Mourik (DuneWorks), Jeroen Baets (EnerGent), Jasper Kroondijk (Qirion), talked about the necessary steps towards a cVPP. Various experts were invited to answer the questions of the participants directly in a few work sessions.

Program Dareday 1

de stemgever

Jasper Kroondijk | Qirion

From potential map to roadmap 

The participants received a potential card during the Daring Day to get started with their community. During the work sessions they were given the opportunity to think further about their options and the challenges ahead. The map attempts to provide an insight into who, what and how a community can set up a virtual power plant. Who are the players in the community? What can their role be? Who do you need from outside and which cooperation? What are the options at the moment and what are your wishes?

Dreamdays 12 or 30 March 2019

Kamp C

The second dream day on 30 March took place. The progress and the work session is identical to the first dream day. But, we join other speakers from this time.

  • "Communities are the key to the energy transition!"
    Luc van Summeren (TUe)
  • "ZuidtrAnt: from dream to realization"
    Sophie Loots (ZuidtrAnt)
  • "My house is where my greenhouse is: living outside the grid"
    Koen Vandewalle and Samia Wielfaert (Kaseco Architects)
  • "The butterfly effect of a solar panel ... how a simple wire wants to grow into a smart city"
    Marc Bellinkx (Kontich stroomt!).

 

On 12 March the first dream day working together for energy transition took place. Thanks to the input and presence of interested citizens, cohousinggoups and local authorities, we have a successful and exciting evening. The presentations you find here.

“Energietransitie en de rol van de gemeenschap” | Ruth Mourik van Duneworks

“Zonnewind in Zandhoven met project Sporthal Het Veld: lokale groene energie” | Danny Gladines van Zonnewind energiecoöperatie

“Burgers investeren in zonnepanelen bij Decathlon-winkels” | Mieke Hesemans van Greenpulse

“Cohousing Waasland gaat voor duurzaam en circulair” | Jacob Demeyer van Waasland Co-housing

cVPP Press Release #1

Presentation at ‘Climate Consultation’ Province of Antwerp for sustainability civil servants (Antwerpen)

With this informative but also inspirational presentation and brainstorming session, we reached at least 30 sustainability public servants and inspired and encouragee at least 5 of them to commit to engage their communities by identifying suitable neighbourhoods within their communities and using their influence to engage them.

Partner TU/e:

  • Subpartner Duneworks

Partner: Tipperary Energy Agency

  • Subpartner Friends of the Earth

Partner Stichting Duurzame Projecten Loenen

  • Subpartner Alliander
  • Subpartner USEF

Parner EnerGent

  • Subpartner Ecopower

Partner Apeldoorn

Partner Kamp C

Partner Templederry Renewable energy Supply Limited. T/A Community Renewable energy supply

  • Subpartner  Claremorris and western District Energy Cooperative Ltd.
  • Subpartner  Limerick Community Grocery Ltd.
  • Subpartner  Energy Communities Tipperary Cooperative Ltd.
  • Subpartner  Aran Islands Energy Cooperative
  • Subpartner  Smart M Power Ltd.

Partner Tipperary County Council

 

 

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