March 2, 2023: Energy storage firm Sonnen said on February 15 it is expanding its virtual power plant tech to connect with EVs for the first time in partnership with European transmission system operator TenneT.
Following a successful test phase, the tech is now being rolled out to 5,000 homes in Germany that use Sonnen batteries and charging equipment, enabling TenneT to draw down previously unused EV storage capacity from connected households.
The VPP is supporting TenneT’s frequency containment reserve (FCR), helping to offset short-term frequency fluctuations in the power grid. TenneT has an FCR requirement of 170MW.
Storage capacity of the EV batteries can be flexibly controlled within 30 seconds to help compensate for load changes and frequency fluctuations.
Sonnen said the system uses an intelligent charging process that does not damage the lifetime of the vehicle’s batteries.
The company plans to add a further 5,000 ‘Sonnen community’ homes with EVs and a Sonnen charger to its VPP, which would provide up to 80MW of electricity to the grid.
TenneT COO Tim Meyerjürgens said the integration of EVs in the power grid was an important milestone.
“The more we feed volatile, highly fluctuating wind and solar energy into the power grid, the need to create new energy storage options to achieve flexibility and stabilize the overall energy system will become greater.
“There will soon be millions of EVs and a large variety of services that are available for us as grid operators.”
TenneT designs, builds, maintains and operates 24,500km of high-voltage electricity grid in the Netherlands and large parts of Germany. The company supports the wider European energy market through 16 interconnectors to neighbouring countries.