California Utilities Enlist Swell Energy to Advance Virtual Power Plants

Renewable energy and grid solutions provider Swell Energy Inc. announced that it is working with three California utilities on pilot projects to expand grid services use cases for residential solar + storage resources to meet both local and regional energy needs.

December 10, 2021. By News Bureau

Renewable energy and grid solutions provider Swell Energy Inc. announced that it is working with three California utilities on pilot projects to expand grid services use cases for residential solar + storage resources to meet both local and regional energy needs.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) are working with Swell to expand residential participation in their respective Capacity Bidding Programs.

Through these programs, homeowners with solar + storage systems can receive compensation for supporting overall grid reliability while maintaining reserves in their battery for emergency use.

These efforts support the California Public Utility Commission's goal of reducing load during California Independent System Operator emergency power events.

For PG&E, Swell will enroll existing and new residential solar + storage customers into the Capacity Bidding Program and collectively manage the systems to provide needed capacity during times of high demand or high wholesale market prices. For SDG&E, Swell is expanding residential participation in its program, which was previously only offered to commercial and industrial customers.

In addition, Swell is helping SDG&E evaluate different scenarios in which residential solar + storage systems could be used to improve the overall reliability of the grid in the context of SDG&E’s specific goals and constraints.

The programs have resonated with customers who value the opportunity to give back with their home solar + storage systems. “I participated because for 30 years I have believed that distributed solar could provide a major solution to the climate crisis brought on by greenhouse gas emissions,” said Steven Marks, a Swell customer. “Swell’s initiative is a step in the right direction. My experience with the program has been nothing but positive. I noticed no difference in service or solar system performance and felt good about being able to participate.”

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