COPOWER partners draw inspiration from Derry's successful Virtual Power Plant model

Derry City and Strabane District Council demonstrate an effective approach for optimizing energy usage, sharing their successful model with COPOWER partners.


COPOWER project partners are currently engaging in an immersive knowledge exchange to innovate and devise an optimised renewable energy management framework. The partners are researching and prototyping a novel methodology to effectively manage renewable energy generation and consumption within buildings and houses, and have identified the creation of a community Virtual Power Plant (cVPP) as a promising solution.

In the recent COPOWER online meeting held in October, Heather Young,from Derry City and Strabane District Council, in Northern Ireland, shared her knowledge and experience with project stakeholders. Heather demonstrated the Virtual Power Plant developed through the SMARCTIC project, which was aimed at fostering energy efficiency and the utilisation of renewable energy solutions in remote and sparsely populated areas.

Describing the core components of a VPP, Heather explained, "a VPP comprises interconnected buildings consuming energy, renewable energy sources, a connection to the wholesale electricity market, and electricity battery storage." According to Heather, their VPP model significantly improves overall energy usage by granting facilities managers control over energy consumption in buildings. It streamlines the adjustment of building settings based on incoming data, offers visibility into operational issues, and provides a user-friendly interface that enhances operational efficiencies, ultimately minimizing energy wastage.

Heather explained the sequential steps followed by DCSDC in developing their VPP. Initiating with stakeholder surveys and mapping energy generation capacities and response load locations, they subsequently installed energy meters at energy generation sites across the council region for a duration of 6-9 months. They proceeded by creating a Machine Learning Optimisation Algorithm and Methodology for system development and data monitoring. The subsequent stages involved predictive modelling, integrating weather forecasts, wind turbine data, solar generation, and price prediction modelling. Finally, they developed a VPP dashboard encompassing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the energy system, such as electricity demand, renewable generation, battery storage, and grid consumption, culminating in a comprehensive VPP assessment and reporting.

COPOWER partners listened to her and got the opportunity to ask further questions that will facilitate the creation of a community-based Virtual Power Plant that will support five communities in Finland, Iceland, Ireland and Faroe Islands.

These discussions aim to pave the way for the development of a community-oriented Virtual Power Plant supporting five communities across Finland, Iceland, Ireland, and the Faroe Islands.

Transnational cooperation to exploit information technologies and link small energy systems


Transnational cooperation to exploit information technologies and link small energy systems