Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) and Swell Energy recently announced an agreement for Swell to act as the aggregator for the new My Energy Optimizer Partner+ program – a customer-driven virtual power plant initiative.
The initial effort will bring 20 MWh and 10 MW of renewable capacity to SMUD by recruiting, installing, and aggregating capacity from customers’ battery storage systems located in the Utility’s service area. The program has the opportunity to scale to 54 MWh and 27 MW over the term of the partnership. Contract capability is based on a 2-hour deliverable capacity, inclusive of exports with day-ahead notification for up to 240 events per year.
The virtual power plant program is one of the most advanced initiatives underway in California to aggregate residential solar and battery storage systems in a centralized manner, to reduce carbon emissions and make the electric grid more renewable, resilient, and reliable. While individual solar and battery storage systems help customers manage their own energy needs, the My Energy Optimizer Partner+ program enables customers to operate their individual systems alongside many others to aggregate and dispatch renewable energy sources to benefit their communities. Participating My Energy Optimizer Partner+ customers will receive both upfront and ongoing compensation, or GridRevenue, based on the capacity of their solar and energy storage systems.
Currently, there are approximately 600 customer-sited energy storage systems in SMUD’s service area, with an additional 400 in the interconnection process and thousands more projected over the next several years. My Energy Optimizer Partner+ will launch enrollments in Q1 of 2023, with operations planned to start in April 2023.