New Hampshire utility proposes virtual power plant with Tesla Powerwalls
- A proposal to install 300 Tesla Powerwall batteries in homes in Lebanon, N.H., is just the latest example of utilities turning to distributed storage, as well as the growing battle to supply these Virtual Power Plants (VPP).
- Valley News reports Liberty Utilities tapped Tesla to supply the batteries, but the proceeding has grown as SunRun has called for a competitive bidding process to supply the batteries. The Liberty Utilities pilot will eventually be expanded to 1,000 customer homes.
- Tesla's Powerwalls have been used in a number of large VPPs recently announced, including one proposed to include 50,000 home storage systems. The distributed batteries are used for energy resilience, to absorb more renewable energy, and to lower peak demand costs.
While the 50,000-home VPP in South Australia is now in doubt, the scale of the proposal illustrates the new ways utilities and grid operators are considering utilizing home storage. More recently, also in Australia, Simply Energy announced it would develop an 8 MW virtual power plant using Tesla Powerwalls.
Last year, Tesla and Vermont's Green Mountain Power partnered to offer backup battery power to residential customers for just $15 per month. Customers in New Hampshire can pay $1,000 up front, or $10 per month for a decade, Electrek Co. reports.
“We’re starting to see larger and larger VPP announcements, such as Sonnen and Mandaly's project announced in late 2017 which has about 3,000 systems,” Brett Simon, energy storage analyst at GTM Research, told Utility Dive.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency this month announced $7.7 million in funding for Simply's project, which is expected to be operational by the end of 2019. In total, the project will cost $23 million project to develop, with plans to install Tesla Powerwall 2 home batteries to up to 1,200 homes in the city of Adelaide. Along with the Tesla Powerwalls, demand response will also be utilized in the VPP.
At the end of last year, two California-based energy companies, Stem and Sunverge Energy, announced they had inked energy storage deals in Japan, working with Mitsui & Co., Ltd. on behind-the-meter aggregation in the service territory of Tokyo Electric Power Co.
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