Vast swarm of homes with solar-battery systems poised to act as 'virtual power plant' in New England (MassLive 2/12/19)
A network of around 5,000 solar- and battery-equipped homes in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Vermont could soon be funneling power back into the grid at times when it's most needed.
The national solar installer SunRun made history this month when it bid into the region's forward capacity auction for wholesale power and won the right to contribute 20 megawatts to the New England grid during periods of high demand.
Last week, SunRun touted its achievement and said it's the first time home solar and battery storage has gone head-to-head with centralized power plants in a U.S. capacity market. While the "virtual power plant" concept has been described on paper and discussed at conferences, it has yet to be manifested.
Now the bundled storage must be made available to ISO New England, which runs the six-state power grid, during the 2022-23 season. If SunRun delivers, it gains tariff payments. If it fails to deliver, it faces penalties. (read more)
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