Ulsan is poised to set community-based virtual power plant

Ulsan Smart Energy Cooperative, EWP | Project website

Korea’s industrial powerhouse Ulsan will soon establish a virtual power plant utilizing idle rooftops. Profits will be shared with the property owners and residents through fixed rents.

The city stated that a plan to build a community-based virtual power plant in Ulsan has earned the support from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE), gaining enough momentum for full implementation.

Korea East-West Power (EWP) and Ulsan Smart Energy Cooperative are running the project. The partners will rent rooftops from residents and the local co-ops have the right to sell the electricity. The cooperative will promote the project and recruit subscribers, while EWP dealing with power transmission and transaction. Distributed energy specialist H Energy will take care of construction and O&M of PV facilities.

The plan envisions a 1.5MW AI-based virtual power plant platform, established by aggregating small, idle rooftop areas. The central government, the city, and private investors will invest a total of KRW 3 billion into the project, aiming for the completion by the end of this year.

According to the project website, any participating building needs at least 80m2 of the rooftop area. The developers cover the full costs of installation and O&M works for PV installations (20 years). The standard contract period is 20 years and the initial 7-year period is mandatory. After expiration, rooftop owners can either decommission or take over the PV installations for free.

Developers are currently receiving applications through Google Forms.

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