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Sunrun and SCE launch home battery virtual power plant in US

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Sunrun and Southern California Edison (SCE) have joined forces to launch one of the first residential energy storage virtual power plants in the United States.

Beginning this month and continuing through mid-2021, Sunrun and SCE will network up to 300 of Sunrun’s Brightbox home solar and rechargeable battery systems across Southern California to demonstrate how clean energy stored in Sunrun Brightbox rechargeable solar battery systems can provide peaking capacity to the electrical grid for Southern California residents.

“California is leading the way to 100% clean energy for all. We’re excited to work with SCE to bring the benefits of Brightbox rechargeable solar batteries to more Californians through this innovative partnership.”

Lynn Jurich, Sunrun co-founder and CEO.

“As we continue to decarbonize the power grid it is essential that we find innovative solutions enabling clean, affordable and reliable service. The Virtual Power Plant will help us understand how home battery systems can perform similar to single large capacity energy sources to benefit all customers.”

Jill Anderson, SCE’s senior vice president, Customer Service.

Clean energy produced from rooftop solar panels is stored in Sunrun’s Brightbox rechargeable solar battery throughout the day. If there is an outage, Brightbox provides backup electricity to the customer’s home and enables them to power through the event 24/7, with the battery recharging every time the sun comes up. Customers have the choice to back up everything from their entire home to simply essential appliances, depending on the type and number of batteries they choose. The virtual power plant will only make use of this battery capacity on the grid when the customer is not relying on it for backup, the company explained.

Virtual power plants are being increasingly embraced as technology evolves and utilities and grid operators see the value afforded to the electricity system by residential solar and battery storage.

Anela Dokso

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