AESC and SDG&E Emerging Technologies to study virtual power plants, new behind-the-meter strategy
Alternative Energy Systems Consulting, Inc. (AESC) and the SDG&E Emerging Technologies program have teamed up to investigate the efficacy of virtual power plants as part of the utility’s ongoing strategic push to meet sustainability and behind-the-meter resource management goals.
The investigation, taking place in the Shelter Valley community of San Diego County, is known simply as the Virtual Power Plant Project and is expected to start in June 2022. AESC’s distributed energy experts are leading the project with a full range of services including technical analysis, project management, participant recruitment, resource installation, and testing.
A virtual power plant is a type of system, usually cloud-based, which connects several distributed energy resources (DERs) like solar and batteries.
Results from this project will inform future investments into similar behind-the-meter customer resources at both the distribution and transmission level. Results will also help improve power grid resiliency for the community and support larger efforts to keep critical assets energized during Public Safety Shutoffs (PSPS) or other emergency events.
AESC’s Director of Distributed Energy Resources John Clint emphasized the importance of the project as a crucial step in increasing energy resilience and improving grid services in a community prone to wildfires.
“We are very excited to be involved in the development and launch of SDG&E’s Virtual Power Plant (VPP) project in Shelter Valley, CA,” said John. “The aggregated control provided by the VPP will allow the community to participate in bulk system and other grid services and ultimately reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Once the VPP is integrated with a microgrid controller, the system will also provide resiliency to the community during fire season or other public safety power shutoff events.”
A virtual power plant is a type of system, usually cloud-based, which connects several distributed energy resources (DERs) like solar and batteries. This system can then be manipulated and optimized to increase the reliability of the grid’s future power supply.