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sonnen Leverages Energy Web Chain, EW Origin for Virtual Power Plant That Saves Wind Energy, Reduces Grid Congestion

Karsten Würth | Unsplash

Zug, Switzerland — March 12, 2020 — Today the Energy Web Foundation (EWF) announced that the sonnen Group (sonnen) has unveiled a new virtual power plant (VPP) in northeastern Germany that leverages the Energy Web Chain and the EW Origin suite of software development toolkits (SDKs). A network of distributed residential energy storage systems comprise the VPP, which is used to absorb surplus wind generation and thus avoid curtailment of renewable energy by charging the batteries when wind energy is abundant.

In Q1 last year, Germany curtailed a record 3.2 TWh of wind energy. In 2018 overall, Germany curtailed a total 5.4 TWh of renewables.

An application built using EW Origin matches forecasted wind energy oversupply with available storage capacity in the VPP. The network operator in northeast Germany reports the anticipated surplus energy. In response, sonnen’s VPP makes an offer to absorb some of that surplus. If the network operator accepts the offer, financial settlement occurs on the EW Chain using EW Dai, a stablecoin digital currency that mirrors conventional Dai on Ethereum. Settlement is essentially instant and nearly free, with the EW Chain built around negligible transaction costs.

The Energy Web Chain and the EW Origin SDKs are both part of the Energy Web Decentralized Operating System (EW-DOS), an open-source stack of ‘blockchain-plus’ software and standards.

“EW-DOS focuses on two of the most important use cases for the world’s evolving electricity systems: enhancing renewable energy markets and leveraging distributed energy resources (DERs) to improve grid flexibility,” explained Micha Roon, EWF’s chief technology officer. “sonnen’s innovative project straddles both of those worlds: using a blockchain-based approach to reduce curtailment of large-scale wind energy by tapping into the available capacity of distributed batteries.”

The cost to transact with and settle DERs — including distributed batteries, electric vehicles, smart thermostats, and other customer-sited devices — has traditionally been prohibitive, and not worth large grid operators caring about. This new sonnen VPP overturns traditional thinking. Blockchain-based settlement for DER-provided grid services becomes a scalable solution that makes even the smallest DERs and smallest grid services worth tapping into. Longer term, it provides a pathway to a DER-rich future, in which not just a single VPP of distributed batteries but millions or even billions of DERs are providing grid services.

“With a flexibility market for renewable energies and the automatic exchange of supply and demand via the digital exchange ‘EW Origin,’ we are realising the next step towards a smart grid that can deal much more flexibly with fluctuations from renewable energy,” says Jean-Baptiste Cornefert, Managing Director of sonnen eServices. “Virtual power plants such as those from sonnen are the technical building block for this power grid that has been missing up to now and can help to ensure that less green energy is lost.”

About Energy Web Foundation (EWF)
Energy Web Foundation (EWF) is a global nonprofit organization accelerating a low-carbon, customer-centric electricity system by unleashing the potential of blockchain and other decentralized technologies. EWF focuses on building core infrastructure and shared technology, speeding adoption of commercial solutions, and fostering a community of practice.

In 2019 EWF launched the Energy Web Chain, the world’s first open-source, enterprise blockchain platform tailored to the energy sector. EWF’s technology roadmap has since grown to include the Energy Web Decentralized Operating System (EW-DOS), a “blockchain-plus” suite of decentralized solutions. EWF also grew the world’s largest energy blockchain ecosystem comprising utilities, grid operators, renewable energy developers, corporate energy buyers, and others.

The Energy Web has become the industry’s leading blockchain partner and most-respected voice of authority on energy blockchain. For more information please visit https://energyweb.org.

About sonnen Group
The sonnen Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of smart energy storage systems and a pioneer of clean, decentralized and networked energy system technologies. As one of the fastest growing tech companies in Europe, sonnen has received numerous internationally recognized awards. With its virtual battery, which consists of digitally networked home storage systems, sonnen offers new and highly innovative energy services for network operators and customers. sonnen’s products are available in many countries and has offices located in Germany, Italy, Australia, the UK and the USA. Since March 2019 sonnen is a wholly owned subsidiary of Shell within its New Energies division.

Contacts
Peter Bronski, Energy Web Foundation
+1.201.575.5545 | peter.bronski@energyweb.org

Nicole Arnone, Inflection Point Agency for EWF
+1.770.856.7185 | nicolearnone@inflectionpointagency.com

Mathias Bloch, sonnen GmbH
+49 (0) 8304 / 92933–426 | m.bloch@sonnen.de

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Energy Web

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EW is a global, member-driven nonprofit accelerating a low-carbon electricity system through open-source, decentralized, digital technologies.