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Siemens Infrastructure & Cities has partnered with Stadtwerke München (SWM) to create a virtual power plant in which a number of small-scale, distributed energy sources are pooled and operated like a single installation.

SWM reports that its primary goal is to “improve the reliability of planning and forecasting for decentralized power generation sources in the area which it supplies, by means of this virtual power plant devised jointly with Siemens.”

SWM’s virtual power plant, in which six unit-type cogeneration modules, five hydropower plants and a wind farm in the Munich area have been combined to form a virtual interconnection, can be operated more efficiently than the decentralized plants separately.

Jan Mrosik, chief executive officer of Siemens Infrastructure & Cities Sector Smart Grid Division, says, “We are in a position to create a virtual power plant as a key element of a Smart Grid in such a way as to provide maximum possible benefit for the operators of the integrated distributed energy sources and for the power supplier too. For municipal utilities, virtual power plants offer new potential.”

SWM Director for Utilities and Technology, Stephan Schwarz, adds: “The virtual power plant meets the demands encountered in both operation and marketing. It enables SWM to add more value, because it opens up further marketing alternatives, for example on the Leipzig Energy Exchange EEX or the market for regulated energy. Our initial positive experience is encouraging us to expand the virtual power plant by including further energy sources and switched loads. In the long term this will create prospects for counteracting the supply problems that arise when more of the infeed comes from renewable energy sources. That is precisely what a Smart Grid is all about.”

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