Written by: Leonard Parker | Solar News | 13th May
Swell Energy has set up two virtual power plant programs with Southern California Edison (SCE) customers, now open for enrollment. The VPP programs are available to SCE customers in various Orange County, Ventura County and Santa Barbara County neighborhoods who are interested in installing solar powered home batteries. VPP-enrolled customers can finance their energy storage systems through Swell financing and install a second battery at a reduced price.
VPPs offer a compelling way for homeowners, business owners and utilities to collectively meet today’s shifting energy needs by unlocking the potential of solar energy stored in an onsite battery. 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. 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.
“In SCE’s service area, our VPPs shift solar power consumption to peak demand periods en masse. By doing so, these programs provide the savings and energy security homeowners and businesses want, while increasing the local grid’s flexibility and resilience,” said Suleman Khan, CEO of Swell Energy. “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.”
The Orange County VPP Program is part of SCE’s second Preferred Resources Pilot and will deliver energy to SCE customers during peak demand periods for the next 15 years. Swell 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. This neighborhood VPP program 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.
The Santa Barbara County and Ventura County Program 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-stabilizing functions formerly provided by the gas facility. SCE awarded the VPP program as part of SCE’s Aliso Canyon Energy Storage procurement program. Swell 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 growing its industry partner network from forty to sixty partners in the coming months to meet program 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.
News item from Swell