Towards collaborative Virtual Power Plants: trends and convergence

Kankam O. Adu-Kankam, Luis M. Camarinha-Matos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) represent a novel concept towards flexible integration of distributed energy resources (DERs) into the smart grid. VPPs will eventually help to overcome the stochastic nature of DERs which will result in a more stable and smart power grid. VPPs are constituted of an integration of heterogeneous systems, organizations and entities which collaborate to ensure optimal generation, distribution, storage, and sale of renewable energy in the energy market. By its composition, a VPP forms a kind of collaborative business ecosystem with high degree of interactions and interdependences among stakeholders. This survey, is focused on analysing the trends and also identifying areas of convergence between the collaborative networks (CN) discipline and the VPP concept and development using foreknowledge from the domain of CNs. A systematic literature review method was employed to summarize research evidence, by evaluating and interpreting available research works under specifically defined focus areas, relevant to both domains. The results confirmed a visible convergence between VPPs and CNs although the convergence level manifested differently under each “focus area”. The results showed that within a VPP, various strategic and dynamic collaborative alliances are formed. The forms of these alliances are similar to various CN organizational forms which include goal oriented networks, virtual breeding environments (VBE), grasping opportunity driven networks and continuous production driven networks. Additionally, various underlying functional principles of VPPs were also found to be similar to CN principles which include: virtual organization creation, operation, and dissolution, negotiations, broker services, VBE administrator services, VO planer services, VO coordinator services, and partner search and selection processes. A variety of organizational forms, similar to traditional CN forms or a mix of those could also be found. In terms of implementation level however, most works are focused on simulation or small prototypes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-230
Number of pages14
JournalSustainable Energy, Grids and Networks
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • Collaborate networks
  • Distributed energy resources
  • Energy market
  • Smart grid
  • Virtual power plants
  • Virtual power players


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