Nokia adds Virtual Power Plant to its leading energy efficiency solution portfolio #MWC24

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Press Release

Nokia adds Virtual Power Plant to its leading energy efficiency solution portfolio #MWC24

Nokia’s innovative Virtual Power Plant Controller Software helps mobile operators monetize the existing backup batteries at base station sitesJoins Nokia’s portfolio of market-leading energy-efficient solutions that reduce the energy consumption, carbon emissions and related costs of mobile networksNokia also introduces ‘zero traffic, zero energy’ extreme deep sleep power mode for Massive MIMO radios, and the Liquid Cooled baseband hotel solutionDemonstrates Nokia’s continued commitment to the energy efficiency of its products   

22nd February 2024
Espoo, Finland – Nokia today announced the launch of the Nokia Virtual Power Plant (VPP) Controller Software, a unique near-real-time software-based end-to-end platform that helps mobile operators monetize the existing backup batteries at base station sites. By seamlessly switching from grid power to backup batteries, operators can lower their energy costs in electricity spot markets, generate revenues in grid frequency balancing markets, and reduce their carbon emissions. Nokia has successfully completed several trials and aims to make the solution available later this year. The solution is the latest example of Nokia’s continued commitment to ensuring its market-leading solutions are designed to reduce the energy consumption, carbon emissions, and related costs of mobile networks.

Nokia Virtual Power Plant
Nokia’s VPP Controller Software contributes to the stability of the electricity grid and creates a new purpose and function for the base station backup batteries which are usually idle as power cuts can be rare. Most countries have a transmission system operator that manages the electricity grid and oversees the power reserve markets. Power reserve markets operate an auction system that enables third parties to bid to provide power. By bidding and winning, an operator can use their backup batteries to run their base stations while maintaining normal operations or provide energy to the market instead of using the grid energy. This turns their battery backup power systems into an investment with a steady financial return. In addition, the system supports renewable solar energy production. Being part of an electricity grid’s reserve power helps the grid avoid power cuts and reduce its CO2 footprint.  

Nokia VPP Controller Software ensures that it is safe to use batteries in the power reserve marketplace and estimates how much extra backup battery capacity is available based on the power-consumption profiles for each power station. It uses machine learning algorithms to create smart offerings based on the actual and the predicted power consumption and the related extra backup power capacity. The auction bidding process in the power reserve market is also part of Nokia’s solution and makes it seamless and easy for mobile operators to enter. This includes the Fast Frequency Reserve market, which requires a sub-second reaction time to offload from the grid and monetize the batteries. The low latency is achieved by using near real-time processing servers and Nokia’s power system.

Zero traffic zero energy radio solution
Nokia also outlined its commitment to extreme energy efficiency with several product enhancements. This includes extreme deep sleep cell-switch-off mode, which leverages software in Nokia’s AirScale Habrok Massive MIMO radio units, reducing energy consumption by up to 97 percent compared to a cell on air but without traffic, and the unique ‘zero traffic, zero energy’ solution that switches off all radio resources when there is zero traffic. The energy efficiency of the radio network software solutions can be further enhanced with Nokia’s MantaRay Energy solution, which automates and optimizes the configuration of the RAN energy-saving software features with AI/ML. 

Nokia also introduced a new Liquid Cooled baseband hotel site solution, which enables up to 90 percent energy savings in baseband hotel cooling systems compared to active air cooling. It also enables up to 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions when the waste heat is used for other purposes like building heating.

Emanuel Kolta, Lead Analyst, Network Sustainability and Innovation at GSMA Intelligence, commented: “Virtual Power Plant (VPP) related services from mobile networks are a nifty means for operators of helping drive environmental benefits through more efficient energy usage and less wastage, while also helping the P&L by monetizing existing assets. This is key, especially for cost reductions considering that energy is still 20% of OPEX for the average operator. However, and this is what’s new, by leveraging passive infrastructure such as batteries and solar panels, operators are also well positioned to provide new services in a market largely untapped by the sector so far: energy management. By selling excess power to the grid, operators can become ‘virtual power plants’ and develop a new revenue source, something that scales the more of a network footprint utilized in this way.”

Nokia has set sustainability targets to reduce its environmental impact and helps its customers to do the same. Nokia tracks, measures, and reports transparently on these targets. Nokia also publishes a sustainability report every spring and reports quarterly and annually as part of Nokia’s financial reporting.   

Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, said: “Nokia’s Virtual Power Plant is an incredible innovation that will help our customers monetize the energy stored in their backup batteries while also reducing carbon emissions. We are committed to continuously maximizing the energy efficiency of our technology portfolio. Our energy-efficient hardware combined with software features such as Extreme Deep Sleep are the key to reducing the energy consumption, carbon emissions, and related costs of mobile networks.”

Nokia AirScale portfolio enhancements
At Mobile World Congress 2024, Nokia will showcase its radio leadership with enhancements to its comprehensive AirScale product portfolio including its range of energy-efficient solutions. Visit Hall 3 to experience Nokia’s industry-leading technology solutions.

Webpage: Nokia AirScale Radios
Webpage: Sustainability
Webpage: Zero Emission Mobile Networks

About Nokia
At Nokia, we create technology that helps the world act together.

As a B2B technology innovation leader, we are pioneering networks that sense, think and act by leveraging our work across mobile, fixed and cloud networks. In addition, we create value with intellectual property and long-term research, led by the award-winning Nokia Bell Labs.

Service providers, enterprises and partners worldwide trust Nokia to deliver secure, reliable and sustainable networks today – and work with us to create the digital services and applications of the future.

Media Inquiries:
Nokia Communications, Corporate

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