21.09.2020 | sonnen GmbH

sonnen and Next Kraftwerke co-operate to supply primary control reserve

Wildpoldsried/Cologne, 21 September 2020 - The two cleantech companies, sonnen GmbH and Next Kraftwerke GmbH, have entered into a co-operation agreement for the supply of Frequency Containment Reserves (FCR). The initiative will provide the power grid with even more capacity from connected battery home storage systems as the companies will offer “reserve groups” to the ancillary services market with two megawatts in capacity each.

Through this co-operation, sonnen will be responsible for the aggregation, control and availability calculation of the flexible battery capacity. Next Kraftwerke as market partner will be responsible for the secure connection of the battery pool to the control centres of the transmission system operators and control reserve markets in addition to the bidding and settlement.  

The two companies are thus making use of the recent introduction of forming reserve groups that was implemented by sonnen for the first time. Reserve groups enable a secure and cost-efficient bundling of small dispatchable loads of energy of up to 25 kW for ancillary services markets to stabilise the power grid.

After a successful trial, additional home storage systems will be aggregated and offered to the FCR market. sonnen and Next Kraftwerke will evaluate if the aggregated capacity can be offered in other markets. This includes other European countries as well as the inclusion of further reserve products such as automatic and manual Frequency Restoration Reserves (aFRR and mFRR).

Jean-Baptiste Cornefert, Managing Director of sonnen eServices, sees the co-operation as a further important step towards a more decentralised and digital energy transition: "sonnen’s pool of connected home storage systems has successfully proven itself in the market for primary control reserve over the past two years. For the first time, we’ve been able to supply dispatchable loads to the power grid and offered ancillary services that were previously reserved for large-scale power-plants. Next Kraftwerke is the right partner complementing us perfectly and enabling us to expand our virtual power plant into new regions and markets more quickly. Next Kraftwerke has access to the international European ancillary services markets, this an essential factor for sonnen to co-operate with Next Kraftwerke".

Alexander Krautz, Head of Business Development at Next Kraftwerke, said, "Next Kraftwerke is not only an operator of our own virtual power plant but also a service provider for other aggregators. We are interested in finding new ways to provide the electricity system with as much flexibility as possible from networked decentralised units. Next Kraftwerke is pleased to have joined forces with sonnen to tap into the growing capacity from home storage systems to balance out fluctuations in the power grid.”

Since the end of 2018, sonnen has been operating the largest virtual power plant in Germany comprising exclusively of connected home storage units. sonnen bundles these systems and makes them available to the balancing power market, amongst others. sonnen's software for aggregation and control is also used in its virtual power plants in Italy, the UK, Australia and the USA.

Next Kraftwerke operates one of the largest virtual power plants in Europe. In the VPP Next Pool, around 9.500 decentralised power generators and consumers are networked on a platform and controlled through a proprietary control system. With a networked generation capacity of over 8.000 megawatts, Next Kraftwerke contributes to the compensation of frequency fluctuations on the grid.