Valamar is the first company in the Croatian tourism sector to sign a contract for participation in the operation of a virtual power plant run by KOER. Valamar manages 37 hotels and 15 campsites on the Adriatic Sea and in Austria.
Valamar Riviera is making available its power generators, with a total capacity of 4 MW at 12 locations from Poreč to Dubrovnik along the Adriatic coast, for the balancing of the electricity grid, the two companies said.
For Valamar, the units are backup for electricity production in its facilities. Under the virtual power plant, they will be used to stabilize the grid at times of peak load.
The tourism company and KOER, the operator of the first virtual power plant in Croatia, said they intend to cooperate in increasing the sustainability and balance of the Croatian power system.
According to the two companies, balance in the system is key for its safe and optimal functioning, but also for the larger integration of renewable power plants and transition to the sustainable production and consumption of electricity.
Gregorović: We are entering the electricity market
Of note, Valamar said it has aligned its sustainability goals until 2025 with the ESG framework. In late 2021 it put into operation rooftop solar power installations on its 26 hotels and campsites on the Adriatic coast.
Last year, the Koromačno cement plant in Croatia joined KOER’s virtual power plant.
Flavio Gregorović, technical director at Valamar, said that since 2010, the company has been investing in renewable energy sources and energy efficiency. The start of cooperation with KOER marks its foray into the electricity market, he pointed out.
The first location to be integrated into the virtual power plant is Valamar’s central kitchen in Vinež in Istria, and by the end of the year all other locations are planned to be put into operation, Gregorović said.
Lasić: Multiple benefits for everyone involved
KOER said the contract ensures additional links between the electricity market and the consumers that make up its virtual power plant, and that Valamar is an important partner in the endeavor.
Marko Lasić, CEO of KOER, the virtual power plant’s aggregator, said it unites producers and consumers but also electricity storage facilities that can be located anywhere within the Croatian electricity system.
“The possibilities of multiple benefits open up for everyone involved this way – it is an opportunity for the end users to become active participants in the electricity market and generate additional income through it, and for the Croatian transmission system operator to provide auxiliary services with the aim of optimizing the operation of the electricity system and balancing it”, Lasić explained.