Green Charge to supply 13MWh virtual power plant for Con Edison in New York

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Green Charge chief Vic Shao. Image: Green Charge Facebook page.
A plan by utility Con Edison to save US$1 billion on infrastructure spending in New York’s Brooklyn and Queens neighbourhoods will get 13MWh of energy storage from Green Charge.

Green Charge, also known as Green Charge Networks, is asking utility customers in 32 zip codes to sign up to a programme which will not cost them anything and which promises savings on their energy costs from next year.

Storage hosted at customer sites will then be aggregated into a virtual power plant and used to mitigate peak demand, especially in the few windows in summer when savings can be achieved and revenues generated. Green Charge, started up by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Vic Shao and majority-backed by French utility Engie, will in those summer periods use the customer-sited batteries to perform automated demand response tasks, coupled with a traditional demand response programme, turning down lighting and heating or air-conditioning units as necessary.

Green Charge’s GridSynergy Storage will be installed at buildings such as schools and apartment blocks for 10 years and will be able to provide backup power and integrate solar PV systems, as well as offering reductions in energy bills. The award is part of wider competitive procurement by Con Edison ongoing until 2018 to “attain 52MW of non-traditional demand reduction”. New York

“We decided to test out an auction as a way to help us keep service reliable at times of high demand and we’re pleased with the outcome,” Greg Elcock, manager of the Brooklyn-Queens Neighbourhood Programme for Con Edison, said.

Green Charge CEO and founder Shao said his company has been working with Con Edison for four years, providing reliability and responding rapidly to fluctuations on the grid. This period has seen numerous challenges, including the so-called ‘polar vortex’ and Hurricane Sandy.

“We are now set to enter the next phase of our work together – exploring cost effective means of relieving local energy congestion and system contingencies through a programme designed to prevent or postpone the costly construction of new electrical infrastructure,” Shao said.

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