Residential solar and battery installer Sunrun has partnered with California utility PG&E to create a new virtual power plant (VPP) combining up to 30MW of new and existing home PV and battery systems for grid reliability.
Sunrun will enrol up to 7,500 new and existing home PV and battery energy storage systems in PG&E’s service area into the Energy Efficiency Summer Reliability Program. The VPP will be able to dispatch 30MW to the grid to lower the cost of power during peak demand periods and reduce grid strain.
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The VPP was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on 30 January 2023.
The two have partnered to create an optimal battery dispatch schedule to achieve this, Sunrun said. The enrolled battery systems will be directed to discharge every day between 7pm and 9pm. This is the period when solar generation starts to substantially dip but demand for air conditioning remains high as high temperatures continue well into the evening.
In exchange, customers will receive an upfront payment of US$750 and a free smart thermostat for participating. Sunrun added that the battery systems enrolled will retain enough energy to meet essential needs in the event of a grid outage.
All Sunrun solar and battery storage customers in single-family homes with a PG&E interconnection agreement that are not enrolled in other demand response programmes are eligible to participate. Sunrun will receive incremental revenue for managing and delivering VPP services to the grid for one year, and has the chance to extend the partnership thereafter.
Although not mentioned in the press release announcing the VPP, Sunrun last week revealed that new company Lunar Energy is using its software platform to manage the company’s VPP programmes in the US.
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