sonnen together with its technology partner, tiko Energy Solutions, has obtained pre-qualification from the transmission system operator TenneT to provide primary balancing power using its Germany-wide network of residential battery storage systems.
In this way, sonnen is providing the energy market with the largest virtual battery currently available consisting exclusively of individual residential energy storage systems. Now along with supplying its customers with clean and locally-generated electricity, sonnen is now able to provide flexibility for the energy markets and expanding its offering to act as the utility of the future. The virtual battery will be used to compensate for fluctuations in the power grid among other services.
The sonnen virtual battery takes a unique approach. It consists of thousands of individual energy storage systems installed across the entire country, each of which can be used to manage energy consumption for individual households. In addition, when fluctuations arise in the power grid, these batteries independently arrange themselves into a large-scale virtual battery. Since each sonnenBatterie has a different state of charge the large number of individual batteries will be aggregated into blocks starting at 1MW, which are then made available to the energy market. During TenneT's certification of the virtual battery, it had to first discharge one megawatt of power to the grid and then re-charge the same amount back from it within 30 seconds. With the passed test, the virtual battery has qualified for participation in the so-called primary operating reserve market.
The power from the virtual battery can be used to rapidly compensate for short-term fluctuations in the power grid within the shortest possible time. If deviations arise in the grid frequency of 50 Hz, the energy storage systems are able to automatically, and in a matter of seconds, either supply energy to the power grid or take energy from it - depending on what is currently required. Until now, it has mainly been CO2-intensive power stations that have been used for this primary balancing power; sonnen’s networked residential energy storage systems are helping accelerate the removal of these power stations from the grid in Germany.
Pre-qualification for the primary balancing power market is subject to the most stringent of requirements in terms of technology and safety in the energy market. By achieving the highest level of certification, sonnen’s network of residential energy storage systems is destined to provide further services within the power grid. In contrast to large stationary storage systems or fixed power stations, sonnen’s flexibly distributed virtual power plant can be deployed in nearly every location in Germany.
Customers benefit from the energy market
With its sonnenFlat offer, sonnen has been providing a specially developed electricity tariff in Europe, whereby energy storage system owners are able to benefit from network services. In exchange providing storage capacity, they receive a certain amount of free electricity. For the owners of sonnenBatteries, the use of renewable energies is therefore more profitable.
sonnen has around 30,000 sonnenBatterie systems in Europe, each with a capacity between 5 to 15 kWh. The total network has a capacity of up to 300 MWh and the potential to supply around 120,000 households with electricity for one hour.