Thursday, August 19, 2021

Virtual Power Plants
Join on Hopin
Sarah Delisle
Sarah Delisle
Swell Energy, Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs

As climate change continues to cause more devastating extreme weather events throughout the country, there is a clear need for cleaner and more resilient power systems. Many homes and businesses have benefitted from installing rooftop solar and batteries over the past few decades, but all this clean power has also created new challenges for the electric grid. Suleman Khan, CEO of Swell Energy Inc., will discuss how aggregating distributed energy resources en masse in the form of a virtual power plant (VPP) lowers the cost of ownership for consumers and helps utilities manage demand while increasing individual reliability and resilience across the electric grid.

VPPs orchestrate thousands of solar-powered home battery systems, allowing homes to function as a single energy storage resource for the grid. When electricity demand is especially high, like during heat waves or when public safety power shut offs, a VPP can provide power without relying on fossil fuels, ensuring clean air and resiliency for the community. By enrolling in a VPP, consumers can also receive new sources of cash for supporting the local utility by taking strain off the grid during peak times with their home energy solutions. 

Fortifying the grid with residential solar power and virtual power plants reduces the need to build more fossil fuel resources, which accelerates our transition to a low-carbon economy and cleaner air. As these systems become more affordable and accessible for all homeowners, they will continue to be adopted more widely. Khan will discuss how community organizations, utilities, technology providers and other key stakeholders can work together to scale VPP deployments across the country.