Image of Electricity Demand Forecasts by “Toshiba VPP as a Service”
– Forecasting Service for Solar Power Generation and Electricity Demand –
KAWASAKI, Japan―Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation (hereafter “Toshiba ESS”) has launched a subscription service related to virtual power plant technology (VPP*) that provides solar PV power generation and electricity demand forecasting as a service (hereafter “Toshiba VPP as a Service”) to electric utility companies and independent power producers in Japan. These services are applied to Toshiba’s weather forecast technology and use generation and demand data acquired in the past for highly precise forecasts, where it can be provided in a suitable way based on customer demand. The solar power generation and electricity demand forecasting in this service is realized by using an AI algorithm based on our business experience.
These services are provided as either a user interface (hereafter “UI model”) or application interface model (hereafter “API model”). The monthly subscription fees for solar power generation forecasting start at 200,000 JPY (approximately 1900 US$) per month, while electricity demand forecasting is from 400,000 JPY (approximately 3,800 US$) per month, excluding tax, with the initial setup costs varying according to the forecasting method. The UI model can be accessed and used by logging into the Toshiba ESS server using an ordinary web browser, and the API model can be integrated easily into existing electricity demand management systems. These highly accurate forecast services can be provided easily to our customers in a suitable way based on client needs.
Noriaki Kozono, Vice President and head of the energy aggregation business, Grid Aggregation Division, at Toshiba ESS, said, “We are honored to launch ‘Toshiba VPP as a Service.’ This subscription service can predict PV power generation and demand precisely and easily using AI. We would like to fulfil customer demands under an FIP**.”
By combining our know-how as an established energy equipment manufacturer with digital technology, Toshiba ESS strives to provide greater and higher value service as an “Infrastructure Services Company.”
Background of the “Toshiba VPP as a Service” Launch
Japan has been introducing renewable energy under an FIT (Feed-in Tariff); however, it is planned that the FIT will be replaced by an FIP in April 2022 with the assumption that renewable energy will become the main power source.
The power generator will be responsible for a planned value balancing system*** based on accurate predictions of power generation under the circumstances of the FIP after the FIT; therefore, they need to improve their prediction accuracy of solar power. On the other hand, accurate predictions of power generation are also necessary for retailers because it is expected that the imbalance cost**** will increase under an FIP system. In the past, these predictions have been performed by manual operation to input huge amounts of information based on the data of weather and power consumption, so it must become more efficient. Based on these situations, to fulfill customer needs, Toshiba ESS decided to launch a service which can predict PV power generation and demand precisely and easily using AI.
(*) A business model in which a customer must pay a recurring price at regular intervals for access to a product.
(**) Feed-in Premium: a method used when a power generator sells electricity at the market price with an added premium.
(***) In this system, power generation companies and electricity retailers adjust their power generation electricity consumption plans and results every 30 minutes.
(****) The retailer’s additional cost of electricity when the electricity power supply is short because of the shortage planned value at the time.