Advanced energy and grid solutions provider Swell Energy has announced new opportunities for Southern California Edison (SCE) customers enrolling in its two clean energy virtual power plant (VPP) programmes.
Courtesy of Swell Energy.
The VPP programmes will further incentivise the transition to renewable power sources and are available to SCE customers in various Orange County, Ventura County and Santa Barbara County neighbourhoods who are interested in installing solar powered home batteries, and joining Swell's neighbourhood Virtual Power Plants.
Swell offers customers home batteries for a low fixed monthly payment and a second home battery at a reduced price when choosing Swell financing and joining Swell's VPP programme. This will enable customers and their communities to achieve greater resiliency and benefits from onsite backup power, and help the grid by reducing demand for electricity at key times.
VPPs offer a compelling way for homeowners, business owners and utilities to collectively meet shifting energy needs by unlocking the potential of solar energy stored in an onsite battery. Owners can draw down stored energy when electricity is most expensive and reserve solar energy in case of a power outage. Participants in Swell’s southern California VPP programs further benefit by earning GridRevenue when consuming their stored energy in the evenings, providing much needed relief to the grid during peak times.
By using a battery when the utility values it most, homeowners can arbitrage both retail and wholesale energy rates and achieve an accelerated payback on their energy system. Adding a second battery to the system further increases participation levels in the VPP and opportunities for GridRevenue, while simultaneously expanding power security on site. Swell's VPP program began operating earlier this year and is ramping up over the following year, providing immediate value to homeowners, small businesses and the grid.
“In SCE’s service area, our VPPs shift solar power consumption to peak demand periods en masse” said Suleman Khan, CEO of Swell Energy. “By doing so, these programmes provide the savings and energy security homeowners and businesses want, while increasing the local grid’s flexibility and resilience. Swell VPPs ensure homeowners receive the maximum value from their home battery, and that utility VPP sponsors and adopters benefit from a large fleet of strategically placed batteries. Our ongoing energy programs with SCE are great models for the future of our electric grid in general.”
Swell’s VPP programme in Orange County provides local, renewable energy to help meet increased demand from new home development – a distinct challenge of the region – without the need to build new or continue running existing fossil fuel peaker power plants. This VPP programme also helps fill the capacity shortfall that resulted from the decommissioning of the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant in 2013.
The company is actively enrolling 2,000 residents and small businesses in Orange County into this VPP to create a 20 MWh clean energy resource from within SCE’s local customer base. The programme is ideal for homeowners and businesses across the spectrum of sizes and utility bills, and applies to all customers who wish to get a battery, including those who already have a solar energy system.
Swell’s VPP programme in Santa Barbara County and Ventura County was developed in response to Senate Bill 801, which directed SCE to deploy energy storage to help regions affected by the partial shutdown of the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility. The VPP will help the utility manage load, increasing reliability and replacing grid-stabilising functions formerly provided by the gas facility. SCE awarded the VPP program as part of SCE’s Aliso Canyon Energy Storage procurement program.
Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties face higher wildfire risk and also experience more frequent Public Safety Power Shutoffs, increasing homeowner eligibility for storage incentives under California’s Self-Generation Incentive Programme. The company is actively recruiting approximately 6,000 homes and small businesses in the project area to create over 14 MW of capacity and demand response capabilities for a 10-year period. Swell is also growing its industry partner network from forty to sixty partners in the coming months to meet programme demand.
These VPP programs for SCE customers represent two of six such distributed power plant contracts Swell is launching with utilities across various markets through its capital partnership fund. In all, Swell’s existing utility contracts will provide VPP energy services across 15,000 homes and small businesses in the United States.