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The virtual power plant that’s hidden in your garage

Centrica and sonnen have installed a network of 100 domestic batteries to form one of the UK’s most advanced Virtual Power Plants.

The network of decentralised home energy storage systems has been approved by National Grid allowing the batteries to be aggregated in a cloud platform in order to provide Dynamic Firm Frequency Response (FFR) - selling storage space when the grid is overloaded or providing stored energy during periods of peak demand.

It allows customers to maximise the amount of solar generated electricity in their home, reducing their energy bills whilst contributing to the stability and sustainability of the UK’s electricity system.

"The digital energy transformation, towards a clean energy system, is taking place all over the world and our technology is an important key to its success," says Jean-Baptiste Cornefert, Managing Director of sonnen eServices.

"sonnen is the first provider in the UK to prequalify with a virtual power plant of decentralised home storage systems. Every megawatt provided across the network replaces one that would have been generated by conventional fossil fuel power stations.”

The two companies are working together to build on the existing 100 sonnenBatterie systems, to provide even more storage capacity for grid stabilisation in the future.

Pieter-Jan Mermans, Global Optimisation Director at Centrica Business Solutions, says: “In the past, automated Demand Response was the domain of large industrial and commercial energy users, in the last 12 months we have shown that networks of devices such as home batteries and hot water tanks can also take part, putting the customer in greater control of their energy, making them more sustainable and helping lower their bills.”