A combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Germany is now supplying balancing power as well as district heating for the town of Amberg in Bavaria.

The plant features an MTU Onsite Energy 20V 4000 gas-fired genset (pictured) delivering around 2000 kWe and 2200 kWth.

Local utility Stadtwerke Amberg is working with MTU and energy service provider EnerNOC under an arrangement that connects MTU’s CHP plants and standby gensets to virtual power plants. The company says this enables plant operators to offer up to 80% of their rated power as negative secondary load-balancing power, an increase on the usual 50%.

Andreas Reisacher, Project Manager, Load-Balancing Energy at MTU Onsite Energy, said: ‘We’re offering our customers optimized, finely-tuned products for getting into the load-balancing power market. As well as lucrative incremental revenue for new and existing customers, this also provides a standardized process for hooking up MTU Onsite Energy gas-powered gensets (CHP plants) and standby gensets quickly to the EnerNOC control centre.’

Wolfgang Hüttner of Stadtwerke Amberg added: ‘Our CHP plant has been feeding power into the public grid system for one and a half years now, also producing heat for the local district heating system. We’re now able to supply also positive and negative balancing power. These extra sales are an attractive business proposition for us, and we’re pleased to be able to contribute in this way to making the power grid more stable and, as a result, performing an important contribution to the energy turnaround.’