Software developer Next Kraftwerke has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Toshiba's energy systems arm to help it develop a virtual power plant (VPP).
The VPP will help Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation (Toshiba ESS) provide supply-demand forecasts and optimised group control of demand, generators and storage batteries.
Jochen Schwill, CEO at Next Kraftwerke: “Toshiba provides energy technology and software worldwide. We are very happy to expand our activities in Japan with such a strong and progressive partner. Combining our expertise is a promising way to prepare for the changes on the Japanese market and beyond.”
The two companies have joined forces before, working on a Proof of Concept project in Japan in which Next Kraftwerkes NEMOCs VPP software was used to control biogas units.
Next Kraftwerke released its NEMOCs solution in February 2018, a VPP for utilities and grid operators that allows decentralised energy assets to be aggregated. It has since worked with a number of companies, including Ecotricity in the UK.
Japan is currently looking to increase its renewable capacity with hopes that renewables can become the main source of power. The country's energy sector has had a turbulent period, with the closure of almost all of its nuclear power plants following the Fukushima disaster in 2011 leading the country to a heavy reliance on imports of gas and coal.
As its renewables sector grows, software like VPP’s will be imperative to balance the grid.