Con Edison "Virtual Power Plant" Program Combines Solar and Storage to Improve Grid Resiliency
Beginning this summer, Con Edison (NYSE:ED) and SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWR) will partner on a pilot program to offer solar power systems with battery storage to more than 300 New York homeowners. The aggregation of hundreds of homes with solar power and battery storage will provide the utility with a cost-effective and innovative “virtual power plant,” providing participating homeowners with a backup system in case of an outage while also supplementing the traditional energy delivery model to improve grid resiliency, reliability and sustainability.
With the integration of over 1.8 megawatts of solar power and about 1.8 megawatts, or 4 megawatt hours, of battery storage, this partnership will represent the largest residential distributed energy storage program in the U.S. It results from New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative, designed to harness and integrate renewables into the state’s power grid.
Under the program, qualified participants will have leased high-efficiency SunPower® solar systems installed on their homes to help reduce the homeowners’ monthly electricity costs. For an additional low monthly payment, participants also will have Sunverge Energy battery systems, owned by Con Edison, installed and connected to their SunPower systems. In the event of an outage, solar power stored in a participant’s battery storage system will be available to power certain essential load appliances in the home.
Using the storage system’s intelligence, Con Edison will be able to link the hundreds of solar-plus-storage systems together into a “virtual power plant” that can act as a local generation resource to supply power to the grid during peak usage periods. Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) integration will provide remote monitoring and control, allowing Con Edison to forecast and optimize the performance and reduce the need for the utility to rely on traditional non-renewable power sources to meet peak demand.
“The integrated solar and storage approach enhances value to the grid by providing a dispatchable renewable power source that Con Edison can control and rely on in real time,” said Matthew Ketschke, Con Edison’s vice president of Distributed Resource Integration. “We are excited to offer customers high performance SunPower systems for no upfront cost, and a cheaper, greener, simpler alternative to a traditional backup generator.”
“This ambitious program with Con Edison represents a significant milestone in U.S. energy delivery, demonstrating that combining solar and energy storage can result in a stronger, more resilient grid while providing end customers the opportunity to save on electricity bills,” said Howard Wenger, SunPower president, business units. "Increasingly, SunPower is working with forward-thinking utilities to integrate advanced energy solutions and enable the transition to a more sustainably powered world."
“Solar plus storage facilitates innovative new approaches for utilities to serve customers, including alternative tariff structures and virtual power plants, and Con Edison is at the forefront of that innovation,” said Sunverge Co-Founder and CEO Ken Munson. “We’re proud to partner with Con Edison and SunPower on this very significant project, providing intelligent storage to help ensure the delivery of reliable renewable power to New York residents even during power outages.”
Con Edison residential homeowner customers who are interested in participating in the program can find more information here: http://solar.sunpower.com/asp-nystorage.
About Con Edison
Con Edison is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc. [NYSE: ED], one of the nation's largest investor-owned energy companies, with approximately $13 billion in annual revenues and $46 billion in assets. The utility provides electric, gas and steam service to more than three million customers in New York City and Westchester County, New York. For additional financial, operations and customer service information, visit us on the web at www.conEd.com, for energy efficiency rebates and incentives at www.coned.com/energyefficiency, and on Twitter and Facebook.
As one of the world’s most innovative and sustainable energy companies, SunPower (Nasdaq: SPWR) provides a diverse group of customers with complete solar solutions and services. Residential customers, businesses, governments, schools and utilities around the globe rely on SunPower’s more than 30 years of proven experience. From the first flip of the switch, SunPower delivers maximum value and superb performance throughout the long life of every solar system. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, SunPower has dedicated, customer-focused employees in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America. For more information about how SunPower is changing the way our world is powered, visit www.sunpower.com.
San Francisco-based Sunverge Energy allows homeowners efficient management of their own renewable energy generation and helps utilities, retailers and solar power providers manage those renewable power sources and aggregate them into Virtual Power Plants across neighborhoods, communities and entire service areas – reliably, effectively and intelligently. Founded in 2009, the company makes the Sunverge Solar Integration System (SIS), a distributed energy storage and management appliance comprised of powerful storage batteries, power electronics, and system-management software running in the cloud. The Sunverge SIS lowers costs, increases energy reliability, strengthens the grid, and accelerates the adoption and integration of distributed renewable energy. Investors include the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), SBCVC, Siemens Venture Capital and Total Energy Ventures International. For more information, please visit www.sunverge.com
SunPower’s Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, but not limited to, statements regarding expected product performance, projected energy output, and expected cost savings. These forward-looking statements are based on our current assumptions, expectations and beliefs and involve substantial risks and uncertainties that may cause results, performance or achievement to materially differ from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to regulatory changes and the availability of economic incentives promoting use of solar energy, and fluctuations or declines in the performance of our solar panels and other products and solutions. A detailed discussion of these factors and other risks that affect our business is included in filings we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from time to time, including our most recent reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q, particularly under the heading “Risk Factors.” Copies of these filings are available online from the SEC or on the SEC Filings section of our Investor Relations website at investors.sunpower.com. All forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information currently available to us, and we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements in light of new information or future events.