A virtual power plant operated by Sunrun contributed more than 1.8 GWh to the New England grid this summer.
Sunrun’s residential VPP in New England is the first in the nation to participate in a wholesale electricity market. Thousands of home solar and battery storage systems helped to reduce the overall demand on the grid and minimize the use of peaker plants.
“This is a wonderful example of radical collaboration and demonstrates the importance of every market operator leveraging local clean energy resources to solve capacity constraints and grid reliability,” Sunrun CEO Mary Powell said. “As more severe and frequent heat waves, arctic freezes and other climatic events continue to stress our nation’s grid, we strongly encourage grid operators, utilities, and policymakers alike to leverage these amazing solar energy resources.”
In 2019, Sunrun won its cost-competitive bid into the Independent System Operator – New England (ISO-NE). The landmark contract was the first successful bid committing capacity value from home solar and battery storage systems to the grid.
In an August report, ISO-NE detailed how home solar helped keep wholesale system demand below the average forecast throughout a heat wave in July, despite the region’s heat index hitting 100 degrees or more.
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It’s been a banner summer for aggregated distributed energy resources.
In August, Pacific Gas & Electric activated a Tesla VPP amid a heat wave that threatened the stability of the California grid. More than 2,500 customers delivered 16.5 MW of solar power as part of the program.
Tesla Powerwall owners in PG&E’s territory, of which there are more than 50,000, can enroll in a pilot with PG&E and earn as much as $10 per event for their participation. Through the pilot, participants receive $1 for every additional kWh that the Powerwall delivers during an event.
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Author: John Engel