January 12, 2023: A new initiative using residential solar and battery storage systems to create a virtual power plant has been launched in California, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) and not-for-profit electricity supply firm Swell Energy announced on December 22.
The VPP aims to boost energy supply reliability and initially should give the district 10MW/20MWh of renewable capacity by recruiting, installing and aggregating capacity from customers’ battery storage systems in the utility’s service area.
However, the project could eventually be scaled up to 27MW/54MWh.
The initiative should start operating in April, with contract capability based on a two-hour deliverable capacity.
Around 600 SMUD customers already have domestic energy storage systems, with an additional 400 finalizing interconnections and “thousands more” projected over the next several years, according to the district.
SMUD chief zero carbon officer Lora Anguay said: “As more customers add solar panel systems paired with battery storage solutions, they’ll be better able to manage their own energy needs while making meaningful contributions toward reducing their community’s carbon footprint.”
Sacramento photo: Josh Hild / Pexels