Homeowners Improve Solar Plus Battery Payback Life with VPPs – PV International Magazine

Homeowners Improve Solar Plus Battery Payback Life with VPPs – PV International Magazine

Virtual power plants (VPPs) coordinate household energy resources, sending power to the grid at key times of high electricity demand in exchange for compensation.

From PV Magazine USA

Rooftop solar energy is evolving. In many markets across the U.S., net metering is being phased out, meaning standalone solar arrays are unable to get a meaningful value for sending their excess electricity production to the grid in exchange for credits on their bill.

With the phase-out of net metering credits, home battery energy storage systems are increasingly being linked to rooftop solar to ensure homeowners can store and consume clean energy produced locally, and avoid peak demand charges that occur in the afternoon.

However, solar and battery systems can do more than simply store and self-consume energy in a day-to-night cycle. These distributed energy resources can work in concert, along with HVAC systems and home appliances, to mitigate demand across the grid, create greater stability in electricity markets, and eliminate the phenomenon of supply-demand imbalance known as the “duck curve.” .

The programs that coordinate these distributed resources are often referred to as VPPs. By participating in the VPP, rooftop solar and battery customers can leverage their resources and get paid by the VPP administrator.

“Solar and home batteries can play an essential role in maintaining grid operations and lowering electricity costs for everyone,” said Aaron Nitzkin, executive vice president of solar at Citadel Roofing and Solar.

Take Enphase, for example, which just received approval to enroll its home battery, the IQ Battery 5P, into VPP programs in three major markets. PG&E customers in California, Long Island PSEG customers and many other markets can generate additional revenue from their clean energy assets. Here’s how they work:

Pacific Gas & Electric in California runs an emergency load shedding program. Customers who register their batteries will receive $2 per kilowatt-hour from PG&E for the electricity stored in their batteries to reduce demand on the grid during periods of peak load. The program’s demand response events are scheduled to take place during hot summer days between May and October. Between 20 and 60 event hours will be scheduled during each “Season.”

PG&E said homeowners can expect to earn $100 to $250 annually. This equates to between $2,500 and $6,250 over the 25-year life of a rooftop solar array.

PSEG Utility in Long Island, New York, offers a battery storage rewards program. The program pays an upfront incentive from installers of at least $250 per kilowatt-hour of usable battery capacity, up to a maximum of $6,250 per household. For example, homeowners with IQ Battery 5P batteries that provide 10 kWh of usable capacity will receive an upfront rebate of $2,500 from their Enphase installer as part of the program. In exchange for the incentive offered, customers agree to let PSEG Long Island use the electricity in their batteries to reduce demand during periods of peak electricity use about 10 times per year. The power will be automatically shared within the program.

“Grid utility programs unlock more value for homeowners with batteries, expanding access to this critical technology,” said Michael Catizone, president and co-founder of Long Island Power Solutions, a leading solar installer in New York. “As electrification increases and demand on the grid grows, we are excited to expand deployments.”

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