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!

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Bas de Kwant's picture
Bas de Kwant

This looks very promising.


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