Sunrun has appointed investee Lunar Energy to manage its home battery virtual power plant (VPP) network in the US, with Lunar planning to launch its own battery product in the coming months too.
Sunrun will use the Lunar Gridshare software, an energy management system (EMS) platform which already manages 35,000 home batteries in Japan and 1,600 in Europe, to aggregate the home batteries of its participating US customers. The deal adds “tens of thousands” of batteries to Lunar’s network, the company said.
Lunar said its work with Sunrun began more than a year ago and that it now manages a dozen VPPs across the country, which are typically tied to a utility or electric co-operative. Examples include ones run by Peninsula Clean Energy, a community choice aggregator in California and Hawaii’s main utility Hawaiian Electric Company.
The Gridshare platform was developed and commercialised by UK firm Moixa, which Lunar acquired last year. Lunar Energy also plans to launch its own home battery product in the coming months, and its software will be built-in allowing homes to enrol in VPP programs from an app.
The platform was used in a programme from Southern California Edison (SCE), one of California’s three big investor-owned utilities, to deliver 60% more energy from Sunrun’s VPP than was previously possible. In Hawaii, it provided both power to the grid and ancillary service Fast Frequency Response.
“We are thrilled with the work of Lunar Gridshare. What Lunar Gridshare has been able to
accomplish in managing multiple devices from several different manufacturers at the same
time, is a game changer for us. To build the grid of the future, it is so powerful to be able to
flawlessly orchestrate all the various distributed energy technologies in our customers’ homes,” said Mary Powell, Sunrun CEO.
“Gridshare also operates in Europe and Asia where energy markets are more advanced. They’ve
seen the future of connected batteries on the grid, and they have a platform that’s ready for
today, and even more important, where the future of energy is going in the United States.”
Lunar counts Sunrun, South Korean conglomerate SK Group and Japanese conglomerates Itochu and Honda as its main shareholders following US$300 million raised since 2020. The two Japanese conglomerates joined the capital structure last year following Lunar’s acquisition of Moixa.
Lunar was founded and is headed by former Tesla Energy executive Kunal Girotra.
As Energy-Storage.news wrote last year in an interview with Sunrun’s senior director of market development and policy Chris Rauscher, 375MWh of home battery storage was installed in the second quarter of last year in the US. In it, he discussed how the company is participating in various utility programmes to aggregate its home battery fleet for grid resiliency and support.
Read more about virtual power plants (VPPs) here.
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