Swell is boosting VPP participation with California’s Big 3 utilities

Renewable energy and network solutions provider Swell Energy is partnering with three California utilities on virtual power plant (VPP) pilot projects to expand network services.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) are partnering with Swell to expand residential participation in their respective capacity bidding programs. Through these programs, homeowners with solar and storage systems can receive compensation for supporting overall grid reliability, while preserving the reserves in their battery for emergency use. These efforts support the California Public Utility Commission’s goal to reduce the load during California Independent System Operator emergency power events.

For PG&E, Swell will enroll existing and new residential solar and storage customers in the capacity bidding program and jointly manage the systems to deliver the required capacity during times of high demand or high wholesale market prices. For SDG&E, Swell is expanding residential participation in its program, previously offered only to commercial and industrial customers. In addition, Swell helps SDG&E evaluate different scenarios where residential solar and storage systems can be used to improve the overall reliability of the network in the context of the specific goals and constraints of SDG&E.

Swell is also working with Southern California Edison (SCE) on innovative applications for virtual power plants. In addition to the two existing virtual power plants that Swell has with SCE, the smart grid solution provider facilitates comprehensive residential solar and storage asset applications to balance energy on the grid across a number of different scenarios and use cases. The effort with SCE could expand the use of aggregated residential solar and storage resources to virtual power plants to maximize environmental benefits and improve power reliability for SCE customers.

All three programs align with the California Public Utility Commission’s goals to improve power reliability in the face of more frequent extreme weather events. By expanding residential participation in utility capacity programs and helping utilities maximize the benefits that distributed solar and storage systems can provide, Swell is helping meet the state’s projected energy needs this summer and beyond. With the right network services and participation levels, these programs help utilities and the California Public Utilities Commission meet California’s renewable energy mandates, while improving power reliability and minimizing the cost to taxpayers associated with building additional standby. -peak stations that are rarely used.

Enrollment for the PG&E and SDG&E programs is closed for 2021. Customers interested in enrolling in the SCE program can visit https://swellenergy.com/vpp2/.

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