Sonnen plans solar+storage virtual power plant in Arizona home development
- The 2,900-home master planned community of "Jasper," in Prescott Valley, Ariz., will utilize innovative new designs from Mandalay Homes and energy storage systems developed by Sonnen to create carbon-neutral residences that can help address load curves in the region.
- The community will utilize 23 MWh of energy storage capacity paired with rooftop solar systems and include 11.6 MW of power input output potential, Greentech Media reports.
- Jasper will be branded as a sonnenCommunity, building on a model that has been successful in Germany where electricity markets are less monopoly-based. Homes will be capable of communicating and sharing electricity, and the entire system will function as a virtual power plant capable of interacting with the wider electric grid.
The Jasper community will not be wholly-independent of the Arizona Public Service grid, but developers told PV Magazine that it will supply up to 80% of its own energy and will use otherwise-wasted baseload generation from the Palo Verde nuclear plant when demand is low, from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. each morning.
Sonnen Director of Business Development Olaf Lohr told the magazine that the development would be an overall benefit to APS' grid, helping to address load curves. In addition to taking power from the nuclear plant, Jasper will soak up excess solar production during midday hours when demand is low.
Dave Everson, CEO and founder of Mandalay Homes, said in a statement that a "true renewable energy future is not possible for our society, or for any society, without the deployment of distributed energy storage resources that properly manage clean energy production, storage, grid usage and home energy demand."
Because Northern Arizona uses older coal generation to provide peak evening power, one objective of Jasper's sonnenCommunity is to "contribute heavily to the decommissioning of this coal peaker plant, within the next three years," the statement said.
Christoph Ostermann, global CEO and founder of Sonnen, said the new community "represents an evolution in residential construction in the United States and will forever alter how American builders, utilities and regulators view distributed renewable energy resources on the grid."
The companies said the Jasper sonnenCommunity will represent the first demand response and grid services-ready aggregated network of residential energy storage systems that are deployed as a standard throughout a master planned new construction community.
Construction is expected to begin soon, with residents beginning to move in during the second and third quarters next year.
Updates to correct spelling for Olaf Lohr, Sonnen's director of business development.
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