Smart Grid Observer

AutoGrid Announces Major Virtual Power Plant Agreement with Japan's ENERES Co., Ltd.

Source: Smart Grid Observer

June 17, 2019 -- AutoGrid, a leader in flexibility management software for the energy industry, announced recently (6/16) its latest project in Japan, which will be the largest storage-virtual power plant (VPP) in the world by asset volume. The project anticipates adding more than 10,000 assets to the VPP between 2020-2021, with rapid scaling in subsequent years.

Under the partnership, AutoGrid will supply Japanese energy services and trading company ENERES Co., Ltd. with VPP and customer engagement software to aggregate, dispatch and market energy from demand response (DR) and distributed energy resources (DERs).

The partnership will enable ENERES to combine DR resources into large enough blocks of energy to sell into capacity markets. The first phase of the project begins later this year and will result in a large, dispatchable DR portfolio.

A second phase will enable ENERES to deploy a full-scale VPP to aggregate behind-the-meter DERs, including solar photovoltaic panels, energy storage systems, combined heat and power (CHP) units, and electric vehicle batteries, along with DR. Using the AutoGrid Flex platform, ENERES will pool DERs from its customers into a dispatchable virtual resource to participate in Japanese wholesale energy and capacity markets.

'As solar and storage costs continue to decline and new capacity markets open, DER and DR resources are becoming a key component of our daily operations,' said Masahiro Kobayashi, President & Representative Director of ENERES. 'AutoGrid Flex gives us a proven, AI-driven comprehensive distributed energy management solution that allows us to fully leverage our own DER and DR resources and those of our customers in real time.'

AutoGrid will supply a custom-branded, cloud-based software solution that will allow ENERES to manage all aspects of the VPP, including program configuration, customer enrollment, monitoring and forecasting, event dispatch, event notifications, and measurement and verification (M&V). ENERES will use the AutoGrid Flex platform for AI-driven DER management, and it will use AutoGrid Engage to support customer marketing, signup and participation.

'Japan is in the midst of a massive market transformation that requires much greater supplies of flexible energy,' said Dr. Amit Narayan, Chief Executive Officer of AutoGrid. 'We're excited to team with ENERES to provide a scalable platform to meet this critical challenge.'

The AutoGrid-ENERES agreement reflects AutoGrid's strategic intent to scale its presence in Japan and other international markets. Japan's energy market reforms continue to drive substantial changes in regulation. In March of this year, feed-in tariff (FiT) for Japan's commercial and industrial solar segment was cut by 22%, with the expectation that the residential sector will follow suit after the 2020 review. AutoGrid's activity in Japan has increased as the new energy market's generation targets have driven rapid adoption of storage and as the industry races to integrate more renewable and storage into the mix to achieve 2030 goals.

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Also of Interest from SGO: 

Utility Cyber Security Forum, June 26, 2019, San Diego

4th IoT Global Innovation Forum, July 9-10, 2019, Chicago 

10th Microgrid Global Innovation Forum, September 10-12, 2019, London

6th Demand Response & DER World Forum, October 16-17, 2019, San Diego