Sonnen integrates EVs into virtual power plant in Germany
- Germany energy storage company Sonnen has unveiled a new electric vehicle charger that can integrate with the company's sonnenCommunity network of battery systems in order to utilize as much solar energy as possible.
- Introduced in 2015, the sonnenCommunity connects homes with batteries and solar panels together, allowing them to share energy in what the company calls a "decentralized energy community."
- Advances in battery storage have made the virtual power plant model an option companies are beginning to test with residential customers. Tesla recently announced 50,000 homes in Australia would have 5 kW rooftop solar systems and 13.5 kWh batteries installed, creating what may be the word's largest VPP.
News of the sonnenCharger is another example of where energy grids around the world are headed: more storage, connected devices and demand management.
While the new sonnenCharger will be first rolled out in Germany, the company is bringing the sonnenCommunity to the United States. Last year Sonnen said a 2,900-home community called "Jasper," in Prescott Valley, Ariz., would be a sonnenCommunity utilizing 23 MWh of energy storage capacity paired with rooftop solar systems.
Residents could be moving into the Arizona community later this year. Jasper will supply up to 80% of its own energy and will use generation from the Palo Verde nuclear plant when demand is low.
Follow Robert Walton on Twitter