DEWA Improves its Smart Grid Through Virtual Power Plant

Published on: 29 July 2022
by KnowESG
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The Virtual Power Plant (VPP), the first of its kind in the region, has helped Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) increase integration between multiple energy supplies in its smart grid. The first phase aggregated the Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) administered by DEWA's R&D Centre and managed them as a single mixed portfolio of generation and load connected to the grid.

The Virtual Power Plant is a cutting-edge system that integrates several DER types to serve DEWA's smart grid through aggregation, orchestration, forecasting based on artificial intelligence (AI), and optimisation.

The VPP is a digital platform that connects a variety of distributed, small- and medium-scale DER units, including solar PV, battery storage, charging stations for electric vehicles, and other flexible loads. The goal is to make it possible for these DERs to participate in and support network operation and to maximise their value to the grid operator and end-user by offering grid services like energy balancing, peak shaving, and frequency regulation.

The first phase of the VPP project was successfully completed thanks to productive research cooperation between Generac Grid Services and DEWA's R&D Center at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park (GSS). The following phase of the project involves developing a more thorough techno-economic feasibility study for the extensive deployment of the VPP on DEWA's grid, identifying the most ideal use cases for DEWA's distribution and transmission networks, and putting those use cases into practice on a larger scale.

The DEWA's MD and CEO, Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, claimed that the VPP improves DEWA's ability to integrate renewable energy. This aids DEWA's attempts to fulfil the goals of the Dubai Renewable Energy Strategy 2050 and the Dubai Net Zero Emissions Strategy 2050, which call for generating all of the nation's energy needs from clean sources by the year 2050.

Al Tayer added:

"We use research and development to explore and shape the future of the energy sector and make Dubai a smart and sustainable city. Under DEWA's vision to become a globally leading sustainable and innovative corporation, we strive to shape the future of energy locally, regionally, and globally by keeping pace with the Fourth Industrial Revolution and adopting innovative disruptive technologies. Our strategies and plans align with federal and local strategies to support economic growth and develop innovative and sustainable clean energy solutions.

"We have strategic partnerships with global companies and organisations in integrating renewable energy and distributed generation into the electricity grid, the Internet of Things (IoT), using AI in energy production units, energy efficiency, cybersecurity, robotics, and smart buildings. These partnerships aim to build national capacities in the energy sector. The total investment in DEWA's Smart Grid programme is AED7 billion. It is a major pillar in the success of smart cities. It also ensures continuity and availability of services around the clock."

Waleed Bin Salman, Executive Vice President of Business Development and Excellence at DEWA, said: 

"Through its VPP, DEWA has integrated the following DERs: Electric Vehicles with a total consumption of 132 kW; Battery Energy Storage Sodium Sulfur (NaS) and Lithium Iron Li+ of a total capacity of 2.4 MW, 8 MWh; Chiller system at the R&D Centre representing flexible loads of total power consumption of 390 kW; Outdoor Testing Facility at R&D Centre with 12 kW PV Inverter; Residential PV inverters of 9kW; a Smart Grid Station with PV Solar inverter of 200kW; Battery Energy Storage of 120kW; and EV charging stations with 44kW."

Source: WAM

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