In a push to create cleaner and more affordable power accessibility across the United States and globally, companies are investing in a concept known as virtual power plants (VPP). According to Reuters’ Nichola Groom who is widely considered one of the top cleantech / climate tech journalists in the US, “VPPs are networks of small energy-producing or storage devices, like solar panels and batteries, that are pooled together to serve the electricity grid.” Given FischTankPR’s Virtual Power Plant PR experience working with clients spanning hardware, software, real estate and energy storage, we keep our eyes on the newest headlines pertaining to this category. Here are some of our recent favorites:

Inside a $110M plan to turn NYC apartments into virtual power plants – Canary (Disclosure – Logical Buildings is a FischTank PR client)

“Logical Buildings and financing partner Keyframe Capital announced their plan to help overcome this challenge — a $110 million financing vehicle to install and operate smart thermostats in thousands of rental units at low to no upfront cost for building owners in New York and New Jersey .Logical Buildings’ smart thermostats will link up with the company’s virtual power plant, or VPP, platform that controls their temperature settings in real-time to reduce electricity and heating energy demand.”

Enel X is orchestrating the rollout of virtual power plants – Environment and Energy Leader

“Consolidated Edison is trying to meet the load growth in its territory, forcing it to make some hard choices: it could invest $2 billion into wires or devise low-cost solutions, including using distributed energy assets (DERs).ConEd decided to deploy a 5-megawatt battery storage project to remedy the dilemma. It is dispatched during peak hours, enabling the utility to forego an expensive capital project.” 

California tops the virtual power plant market – PV Magazine

“California dwarfs all virtual power plant (VPP) markets in North America, housing 24% of projects in the region, according to Wood Mackenzie’s ‘North America VPP market: H1 2023’ report. The top four states by VPP deployment, California, New York, Texas, and Massachusetts, are located within an organized retail power market, but also offer aggregator-friendly standard offer programs for distributed energy resource (DER) capacity.”

PG&E is testing different flavors of virtual power plant – Canary Media

“The tricky part about relying on these ​“demand-side” resources lies in developing a model that gives both customers and utilities what they need. In this case, utilities need consistent, reliable grid support — and customers need their batteries to do what they bought them to do…

…To operate its U.S. VPP deployments, Sunrun has teamed up with Lunar Energy, a well-funded Silicon Valley startup with software that’s orchestrating VPPs involving tens of thousands of battery-equipped customers across the world. ​“Lunar helps us juggle those critical priorities with our customers,” Peattie said. ​“We have to be impeccable with our dispatches, making sure that nobody’s battery is too low to supply backup power during that dispatch window.”

SolarEdge launches battery virtual power plant – The Buzz EV News

“SolarEdge Technologies announced the launch of its first “battery virtual power plant” in support of Great Britain’s National Grid ESO Demand Flexibility Service (“DFS”). The service is available to thousands of SolarEdge home battery owners across Great Britain with eligible smart meters, who are now able to earn financial incentives utilizing their stored battery energy during DFS peak demand events, which will be used to stabilize the grid.”

Want to learn more about our VPP PR experience?

FischTank PR has worked on dozens of Virtual Power Plant PR campaigns, often supporting brands spanning grid edge software / hardware, residential energy storage, real estate development and financing. Please contact us at [email protected] to learn more about our virtual power plant PR experience.

*Article written by intern Dillon Williams*

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