Virtual Power Plants

The aggregation of distributed renewable energy generation and batteries enables their participation in balancing, wholesale or flexibility markets. Furthermore, aggregation services provide prosumers and small generators with the necessary technology and control, and the aggregator acts as a responsible party in the power and flexibility markets. This means that small-scale flexibility resources which could other-wise not have participated can offer their flexibility to TSOs and DSOs. Projects cover ICT tools, definition of products to be offered and business models for the aggregation of small-scale renewables.

Components & enablers

  • Controllability and observability of the technical devices
  • Regulatory: Clearly defined role for virtual power plants
  • ICT platforms

State of the art in application and research

Large-scale generation and storage units are currently able to participate in balancing and wholesale markets on their own, or through their BRP. Smaller generators or storage units, however, require aggregation services to reach the required scale for participation in these markets.

Aggregation through virtual power plants (VPPs) also reduces the risk to each generator or smaller storage unit of providing flexibility, as the risk is taken by the aggregator and diversified through the presence of several flexibility providers. Current markets are not.

EU-SysFlex (WP7, Portugal) tests the aggregation of generation and storage in a concept grid. This includes FFR, FCR, FRR, congestion management, adequacy and voltage support. One of the demonstrations include a pumped hydro storage plant and wind power plants connected at TSO level, providing aFRR (secondary reserve) in a capacity market, as well as participation in day-ahead and intraday markets.

SmarterEMC2 tests mechanisms for voltage control in a lab / simulation setting.

The main aim of COMPILE is to demonstrate the opportunities of energy islands for the decarbonisation of energy supply, community building and the creating of environmental and socioeconomic benefits.

The DOMINOES project aims to enable the discovery and development of new demand response, aggregation, grid management and peer-to-peer trading services by designing, developing and validating a transparent and scalable local energy market solution.

inteGRIDy aims to integrate cutting-edge technologies, solutions and mechanisms in a framework of replicable tools to connect existing energy networks with diverse stakeholders, facilitating optimal and dynamic operation of the distribution grid (DG), fostering the stability and coordination of DERs and enabling collaborative storage schemes within an increasing share of renewables.

MERLON introduces an integrated modular local energy management framework for the holistic operational optimisation of local energy systems in the presence of high shares of volatile distributed RES.

The MUSE GRIDS project aims to demonstrate, both system-wide and in real-life operational conditions, a set of both technological and non-technological solutions adapted to local circumstances, targeting local urban energy grids to enable the maximisation of affordable local energy independency thanks to optimised management of the production via end users’ centred control strategies, smart grid functionalities, and storage and energy system integration.

The Smart Grid Vendée project aims to experiment with, at the level of the Vendée department, new solutions for controlling and modernising the distribution of electricity.

Technology Readiness Level

TRL 7 – Demonstration

EU-SysFlex tests the aggregation of generation and pumped hydro storage in a concept transmission grid. It includes FFR, FCR, FRR, congestion management, adequacy and voltage support.

Current focus of R&D and research gaps

See State of the Art.


[1] EU-SysFlex

[2] SmarterEMC2 [Link]

[3] COMPILE [Link]

[4] DOMINOES [Link]

[5] InteGRIDY [Link]

[6] Flexturbine

[7] InteGRID [Link]

[8] MERLON [Link]

[9] MUSE-GRIDS [Link]



[12] WindNode [Link]

[13] Smart Grid Vendée [Link]

[14] ECCo [Link]