Mission Critical Power: Embracing Virtual Power Plant Technology

With the UK set to lose a fifth of its energy generating capacity, are ‘virtual power plants’ that harness UPS battery power the answer?

The country is facing up to an impending energy crisis. The National Grid already operates at near full capacity. But in the next decade it’s likely we’ll lose around 20% of our existing generation capacity. We’ll become more reliant on renewables, and older power stations will close.

Mission Critical Power logoRiello UPS General Manager Leo Craig shares his solution with Mission Critical Power magazine. At the moment, there’s already 4 gigawatts of stored power in uninterruptible power supply units. But that’s just scratching the surface of this as-yet-untapped potential.

UPSs that use Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are capable of storing energy, which can then either be used as an alternative to mains supply at peak – more expensive – times of the day or fed back into the National Grid.

Leo highlights a recent project where Riello UPS helped demand side response (DSR) aggregator KiWi Power create the equivalent of a virtual power plant. Using Li-ion batteries from Yuasa, electricity stored by the UPS system powers the firm’s 40-strong London office.

So far, the initiative has been extremely successful. However, there’s still currently a lack of industry understanding – and backing – that means the potential of energy storage and DSR isn’t being fully realised.

“What is clear though, is that with the right equipment in place, your UPS can become a vital source for energy trading as well as an insurance policy against power failure.

“By helping to spread demand across a variety of sources it can also help to keep the cost of electricity down and will help to secure the UK’s energy supply for decades to come.”

– Leo Craig, Riello UPS

Read the in-depth article at the Mission Critical Power website