Trading flexibility on the intraday market was previously reserved for industrial providers such as large power plants. sonnen and ESFORIN are now opening up this market to private households in Germany for the first time, thereby leveraging previously untapped potential for the energy transition.
ESSEN/WILDPOLDSRIED 22 June 2022 - The energy solutions provider sonnen, together with the flexibility specialist ESFORIN, is now using the sonnenBatteries of private customers for intraday electricity trading. sonnen is making the home storage units, which are networked to form a virtual power plant (sonnenVPP), available to the sonnenCommunity in Germany. The prerequisite for participation in intraday trading is the intelligent electricity tariff sonnenFlat.
ESFORIN, in turn, digitally markets the available energy quantities of the battery storage units on the intraday market of the European power exchange EPEX Spot SE through algotrading. This is done fully automatically with the help of individual algorithms and artificial intelligence. The marketing of the networked, decentralised home storage systems not only stabilises the electricity grid on a market basis, but also enables the integration of further renewable electricity generation. In this way, the members of the sonnenCommunity make an important additional contribution to the energy transition and the reduction of CO2 emissions without the need for additional investments.
In intraday trading, electricity suppliers can cover their additional demand at short notice or sell surpluses. With this instrument, electricity supply and demand can be precisely balanced. Until now, this form of trading has only been used by industrial suppliers. sonnen and ESFORIN are now making it available to members of the sonnenCommunity - i.e. private households - for the first time as another fundamental innovation for the energy transition.
"We are once again sending a clear signal for the digitalisation of the energy transition. With the sonnenBatteries networked into a virtual power plant, we can now buy or sell electricity on the energy market in a targeted manner and thus shift generation or consumption peaks in a time and price-optimised manner," says Oliver Koch, CEO of sonnen, adding: "The sonnenBattery becomes an intelligent purchasing manager for electricity and ensures that free storage capacity is used efficiently. This helps us to continue offering our customers favourable electricity prices via sonnenFlat".
Due to the expansion of renewable energies, but also due to the increasing number of electric cars or heat pumps, electricity generation and consumption are fluctuating more and more. Therefore, storage and intelligent balancing mechanisms for electricity flexibility play a decisive role for the stability of the electricity grids. The market price can provide an important economic incentive for grid-serving behaviour. If there is a lot of electricity from solar or wind power, the prices are lower. If they are lacking, the price rises and electricity becomes more valuable.
"With the help of our proven flexibility marketing, private households networked in the sonnenCommunity can, for the first time ever and in real time, react to the current availability of electricity and thus contribute to stabilising the power grid and reducing CO2," says Christian Hövelhaus, CEO of ESFORIN, and emphasises: "In this way, households are providing previously untapped potential for the energy transition - without any loss of comfort or further investment."
In simplified terms, participation in daily electricity trading looks like this: If too much wind power is produced at the moment, the sonnenBatteries can be increasingly charged with low-priced and low-CO2 electricity. The stored electricity is consumed in the household and thus does not have to be purchased when prices are higher again.
If, on the other hand, there is too much solar power available, the prices are correspondingly low. The surplus solar power of the sonnenCommunity members is then preferably stored in the sonnen batteries instead of feeding it into the grid. Solar feed-in is thus shifted to times with higher prices.
Customers with the sonnenFlat electricity contract participate in intraday trading by receiving a free electricity quantity based on the size of their PV system and the capacity of their sonnenBattery. Because they are part of the sonnenVPP, they receive a profit share from the proceeds of the virtual power plant - "VPP Bonus". An additional mechanism that sonnen now uses to offer customers the most favourable conditions possible is intraday trading. The cheaper sonnen can purchase electricity that is not covered by the sonnenCommunity's own generation, the better conditions the sonnenFlat can offer customers. The same applies if sonnen can generate higher revenues for the electricity that the sonnenCommunity does not need.
So far, sonnen has been using its virtual power plant sonnenVPP primarily for primary control reserve (FCR). With the expansion of its virtual power plant for intraday trading, sonnen is now continuing its strategy of using electricity storage beyond pure self-consumption and thus achieving additional benefits for customers but also for the energy transition. At the same time, for the first time, household customers are using their electricity flexibilities in a targeted manner in the intraday trading market via the sonnen virtual power plant using the ESFORIN marketing platform.
About ESFORIN SE
ESFORIN (Energy Services for Industry) is the leading provider of digital flexibility marketing in the energy sector. Founded in 2014 by experienced energy entrepreneurs, the company currently employs over 40 people and operates a sophisticated automated trading infrastructure serving leading industrial and energy-intensive customers, municipal utilities as well as renewable generators and batteries. ESFORIN is headquartered in Essen and serves customers in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and the UK. In 2021, the company processed 3.9 million trades on EPEX Spot and generated revenues of €275 million.
sonnen is one of the world's leading manufacturers of intelligent electricity storage systems and a pioneer in technologies for a clean, decentralised and networked energy system. As a fast-growing technology company, sonnen has already been awarded numerous international prizes for its innovations. With the sonnenCommunity, sonnen unites all customers into a globally unique energy community. Through the sonnen virtual power plant, the company offers completely new and highly innovative energy services for grid operators and private households. sonnen is represented with its products in numerous countries and has its own locations in Germany, Italy, Australia and the USA. sonnen is a wholly owned subsidiary of Shell and belongs to the Renewables and Energy Solutions business unit.