ewz.flex is the Virtual Power Plant set-up for ewz's 100% renewable power supplies in Switzerland
ewz turned to Kiwi Power to provide a unifying software layer and create a virtual power plant by connecting commercial customers’ distributed energy resources.
Vertically-integrated electric utility ewz, one of the ten largest energy services providers in Switzerland, has made sustainability its guiding principle, providing renewable energy to 100% of the households in its service area.
As part of its commitment to sustainability, ewz expanded the use of digital technologies to create an intelligent distribution network that can respond to the needs of a more decarbonised and distributed energy sector and ensure security of supply. Specifically, the company sought to connect and control diverse distributed energy resources (DERs) owned by its customers to form a virtual power plant (VPP).
Once created, a VPP operated by ewz could provide valuable flexibility to grid operator Swissgrid and earn rewards for VPP participants.
Before forming its VPP, ewz had programmes in place to monitor and control its commercial customers’ distributed energy resources, as well as over a century of experience operating centralised power plants.
ewz enlisted the support of Kiwi Power to provide a software solution that could build upon its existing DER technologies and combine distributed generation and demand reduction from its commercial customers to create a VPP.
Kiwi Power joined ewz in an exclusive technology partnership in 2017. Kiwi provided ewz with the centralised software solution it needed to connect distributed generation and demand side response resources from all interested commercial customers.
As a result, ewz was able to create a new service for commercial customers, ewz.flex. The service, operated by Kiwi Power and accessible to ewz’s customers through an easy-to-use web-based interface, can fully automate customers’ participation in demand side response events and calls for supplemental power supplies. Programme participants—businesses with at least 200 kW in output capacity who have opted into the ewz.flex programme—always retain ultimate control of their energy assets. ewz manages operation of VPP assets, participation in energy auctions and coordination with Swissgrid.
Since the launch of the ewz.flex service, Kiwi Power and ewz have delivered significant generation and capacity to the Swiss grid, delivering much-needed flexibility and optimisation of renewable resources. Participants in ewz.flex have earned additional revenue in compensation for their contributions to a cleaner, more reliable electricity grid.