Siemens, RWE to expand German virtual power plant project

Siemens FWBSIENYSESI and RWE are to expand their 'virtual power plant' project, integrating up to 200 MW of micro-renewable generation by 2015 for sale on the EEX German energy exchange, the companies said Friday.

The project, which seeks to cluster renewable energy projects connected at distribution level, began life in October 2008. In February , RWE began marketing the product on the EEX.

"This is the first centralized direct marketing of electricity from a large number of EEG-compliant [renewables law] energy sources in Germany," the companies said in a joint statement.

RWE and Siemens said they had now agreed to expand the project, taking it from 20 MW this year to 200 MW by 2015.

"The objective is to integrate different distributed energy sources such as biomass plants, biogas block heating plants, wind turbines and hydroelectric plants throughout the whole of Germany," they said.

While some of RWE's own generating assets are to be bundled into the virtual power plant, this is essentially an opportunity for RWE customers to take part in the networked system, benefit from scale effects from combining volumes and help demonstrate smart grid integration of micro-renewables, the companies said.

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