Next Kraftwerke Signs MOU with Toshiba in VPP Project

October 29, 2019 by Paul Shepard

Next Kraftwerke and Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation (Toshiba ESS) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to assess the compatibility of their Virtual Power Plant (VPP) systems and sales channels. The companies aim at jointly developing competitive VPP services by the end of March 2020.

In the new cooperation, it is Toshiba ESS and Next Kraftwerke's objective to combine their expertise and provide services such as supply-demand forecast and optimized group control of the demand, generators and storage batteries. Toshiba ESS and Next Kraftwerke already cooperate in a project within a Proof of Concept (PoC) in Japan: Next Kraftwerke connects biogas units using NEMOCS, Next Kraftwerke's VPP-as-a-service-solution, to control them. The new cooperation will consider the evaluated result.

Japan currently promotes renewable energy under the Feed-In Tariff (FIT) policy. This policy will be updated so that renewable energy becomes the main power source. This will require improved balancing solutions to stabilize the grid and more market trading.

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Next Kraftwerke operates one of the largest VPPs in Europe. It digitally connects thousands of decentral-ized energy producing and consuming units all over Europe. The aggregator forecasts and trades the electricity on various European exchanges and uses it for ancillary services such as balancing energy. The company also provides the software-as-a-service solution NEMOCS for third parties to build their own VPP.

Jochen Schwill, CEO at Next Kraftwerke commented: "Toshiba provides energy technology and software world-wide. We are very happy to expand our activities in Japan with such a strong and progressive partner. Combining our expertise is a promising way to prepare for the changes on the Japanese market and beyond."

As a digital utility, Next Kraftwerke operates one of the largest Virtual Power Plants in Europe. The Next Pool networks around 8100 decentralized energy producing and energy consuming units that are linked together via a digital platform, which enables each one to be managed by an in house control system. With a total linked energy capacity of over 7100MW, Next Kraftwerke makes a substantial contribution to stabilizing fluctuation in the grid.

In addition, the Cologne based company optimizes energy production and consumption of each of its customers with price markers, and trades their power 24/7 on various European markets, such as EPEX and EEX.