German utility RWE has announced a co-operation agreement with Siemens to collaboratively develop a ‘next-generation’ virtual power plant.

The Smartpool project was undertaken in response to the challenges involved in integrating large amounts of renewable energy sources on the grid, the companies said. The project aims to develop an IT system that can bundle a large number of distributed energy sources as well as expand the ways distribution grid operators can integrated distributed power generation facilities.  

Public entities and grid operators will be able to use RWE Smartpool to optimise the marketing of frequently small amounts of locally generated power, the firms said.

For the project’s development, RWE said it will use Siemens technology to build a system that can connect generators, consumers and storage units to a central energy information and control system ‘in a way that is both suitable for the mass market and can handle multiple clients’.