Virtual Power Plants: Pathway to clean electricity in urban areas

Cities are responsible for 75% of energy consumption and 80% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. However, cities also exhibit substantial internal interactions among energy vectors and sectors with inherent flexibility and so are ideal candidates to harness flexibility to make the grid more reliable. However, integration of millions of small-scale distributed resources introduces enormous technical and commercial challenge.

The project will follow up on an ongoing DAAD project and will create a modelling framework, which will be demonstrated on specific Australian and German case studies, to:

  1. Model and assess how new flexible, power electronics-interfaced distributed technologies in urban areas can be efficiently aggregated to provide system services.
  2. Quantify how electrical flexibility could be extracted from interaction with and among multiple energy vectors.
  3. Assess potential revenue streams from provision of multiple reliability services that could boost the business case for new resources.

The main methodological idea is to explore the link between techno-economic aspects, generating flexibility maps based on AC and multi-energy optimal power flow techniques (developed by UoM) and a grid dynamic model based on an innovative Dynamic Phasor Solver (developed by RWTH). This analysis will provide new insight between technical and market operation that cannot be understood with classical steady-state modelling. The new dynamics introduced by power electronics are requesting a deeper look at the time domain in the power system.


The University of Melbourne: Pierluigi Mancarella

RWTH Aachen: Antonello Monti