City-zen: Virtual Power Plant

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Monetizing flexibility using a Virtual Power Plant, which incorporates solar-PV, load and home battery systems. It is not a real power plant but a virtual. Aggregating several small production units , like pv-rooftops, a power plant is created.

City-zen was an international consortium, a program stimulating learning-by-doing in Grenoble and Amsterdam between March 2014 and November 2019. The results can be found in a booklet or in detailed reports.

Smart Stories

Check the article about the Virtual Power Plant featured in our online magazine 'Smart Stories':

What is the goal of the project?

  1. Improving the yield of solar panels: households will be able to store and/or trade surplus solar energy
  2. Balancing (unpredictable) sustainable energy supply and demand in neighbourhoods.

A virtual power plant is an online platform which aggregates people’s production and consumption of solar energy and stores the surplus locally. Due to this aggregation it’s possible to trade energy on the wholesale markets: the use of a home battery lets you store energy when electricity prices are low and discharge the battery when there are high.

What is the result of the project?

Trading on the energy markets with battery systems installed at households is new. The concept requires a significant amount of ICT infrastructure, and will be connected to Alliander’s smart grid. Through a pilot with more than 35 households in Amsterdam Nieuw-West, City-zen's partners will be able to test and improve the use of home batteries as a virtual power plant. After extensive testing upscaling to other neighbourhoods in the city will be possible.

Who initiated the project and which organizations are involved?

This project by Greenspread and Alliander is part of City-zen, a European funded project in Amsterdam and Grenoble.

What is the next step?

Currently already 25 home batteries have been installed at homes in the Amsterdam Nieuw-West district. We are still looking for a few more participants! So, if you are interested to participate, live in Amsterdam Nieuw-West and have PV panels: Send an e-mail to or check the website (Dutch): for more information!



Hi Juliette, thanks for reaching out.
Please send me your contact details (see the e-mail link on my profile) so I can help you get in touch with the VPP project manager, who can answer your questions in accurate detail.

Juliette Roos's picture
Juliette Roos

Hello Team,
I'm writing a paper about microgrids at the moment and the VPP looked really cool!
And my question is: how much did it cost the residents to join the project?
And also: how much can you save on energycosts in a year following this project?
Look forward to hear from you!
Thanks, Juliette

praveen kumar's picture
praveen kumar

Hello Team,
The project Looks promising and its going revolution the way to live.
As a Product Development and Design Firm, we can create a frugal Windmill and Solar panels Designs. It's a Plug and Play and can tailored made as per the requirement.
Secondly a Common Workplaces to work on their Product Design Ideas and assist from SME's on the same.
Virtual reality Simulation for education and training purpose, Engineering Design and Development on Engineering Products.
Look forward to hear your thoughts!!


Hi Jana, the VPP project manager told me he is going to contact you about your request. Kind regards, Ruby

Jana Helder's picture
Jana Helder

The project looks really interesting!
On Bable, a platform for smart city solutions, we are currently developing a Virtual Power Plant solution to show the impacts and benefits of projects as this one. Is anyone of you interested in giving an expert advice for people planning to implement a Virtual Power Plant in their city - for exmaple on difficulties you had and solved or how inhabitants can be involved successfully?
Looking forward to hearing form you!

Simon Duncan's picture
Simon Duncan

Hi Colette,

I have sent you an email to the address you supplied above with information about my proposal.

Please let me know if you have received it.

Looking forward to hearing from you.
Simon Duncan


Hi Simon,

Great to hear you are interested in our Virtual Power Plant Project! I would be happy to discuss it with you. You can reach me at / +31 6 141 06 818.

Best wishes,
Colette van der Minne

Simon Duncan's picture
Simon Duncan

This project looks very interesting. I would like to create an OnLine Video of this project. Who might I contact to discuss this further?

+33 6 77 67 63 98


Hi René, for specific questions on the project you can contact They will be happy to answer all your questions. Best wishes, Colette


Do you add the blockchain concept here?