Getting More Out of Distributed Resources: Finding Technology and Strategy Differentiation in Virtual Power Plants

September 23, 2016 | State of the Market Report

Virtual power plants (VPPs) – aggregations of distributed generation, storage, and loads – have great potential as tools to balance supply and demand in the face of increasing renewables and recover additional value from underutilized energy assets. However, the developer landscape is crowded, and discerning between VPP technology platforms can be challenging. We develop a framework for comparing VPP platforms on their deployment scale and flexibility, and find that few have reached meaningful scale today, and even fewer have done so with highly flexible platforms. We also highlight examples of business model differentiation among VPP operators.

Coverage Area

  • Owning the Energy Transition

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Landscape
    Virtual power plants (VPPs) aggregate small distributed generators, batteries, and loads to provide energy or services to the grid, and are based on advanced software.
  • Analysis
    We develop a framework for evaluating VPP platforms based on deployment scale and flexibility; some developers differentiate on business model as well.
  • Outlook

Lead Analyst

Katrina Westerhof
Director, Research


Cosmin Laslau, Ph.D.

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