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ORLEN bets on Virtual Power Plant

COMPANIESORLEN bets on Virtual Power Plant

The ORLEN Group is planning to implement a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) – technology that enables the coordination of energy production sources across the entire country through a centralized control system. The investment will allow for joint balancing, optimizing production and reporting of individual production units, as well as automating internal processes, thereby enhancing ORLEN’s competitive advantage.

The Virtual Power Plant is a digital solution increasingly sought after by energy companies. Especially those, like ORLEN Group, that have a large number of renewable energy sources in their portfolios. ORLEN is currently in the process of obtaining offers for a comprehensive business concept, including the technical scope, of such a virtual power plant. The provider of the VPP concept will be selected in the first quarter of 2024, with the initial implementation works planned for 2025.

“ORLEN will utilize the potential of digitalization to aggregate the energy capacities of the Group’s assets. The investment will be made possible thanks to a detailed analysis of production, network, market, and weather data. The collected data combined with modern digital technologies, including artificial intelligence, will allow for more efficient management of the ORLEN Group’s energy assets. The virtual power plant will contribute to improving the security of the national power system, ensure stability of energy supplies, minimize the risk of overproduction, and above all impact the improvement of production efficiency, which in the future may reduce the cost of energy produced,” says Marcin Piekarski, Head of the Digitalization Team at ORLEN Energy.

The virtual power plant is a centralized IT system used for monitoring, control, and efficient management of energy resources. VPP technology collects information about electricity production in individual units and manages them in a way that minimizes fuel consumption, breakdowns, as well as carbon dioxide emissions. This ensures stable operation of the power system and hence guarantees energy supplies to consumers. This is particularly important in view of the variable demand for electricity and the ongoing transformation of the power system, where renewable energy sources play an increasingly important role.

The construction project of the virtual power plant is part of the Digitalization Strategy of the ORLEN Group’s Energy Segment. The path adopted by ORLEN for implementing VPP technology ensures the centralization and integration of both renewable energy units and conventional sources. According to ORLEN Group’s assumptions, the potential capacity of units that can be integrated within the VPP system will exceed 16 GW by 2030.

The implementation of VPP technology is initially planned in ORLEN company. In further stages of development, gradual integration of production units of other companies in the Group is possible. Ultimately, the solution may also be made available to external entities as part of commercial services.

The virtual power plant will ensure synergy of ORLEN Group’s activities, which as a result of acquisitions and fusions with Energa, LOTOS and PGNiG Capital Groups, is strengthening its leading role in the fuel-energy industry of Central and Eastern Europe. As a leader in energy transition in the region, it is consistently increasing its investments in low and zero-emission energy sources. ORLEN already gets energy from photovoltaics, hydroelectric power plants, and land wind farms, and in the near future from marine wind farms as well as biogas and biomethane. The investment will contribute to even more efficient management of these units, bringing the Group closer to achieving the ambitious goal of achieving emission neutrality by 2050.

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