Swell Energy and Shifted Energy have announced a partnership to combine technological virtual power plant (VPP) capabilities to expand the use of the systems and make energy management more efficient.
The partnership will include merging Shifted’s distributed energy resource management system (DERMS) with Swell’s DERMS, creating one platform for utilities to manage assets in one place. The VPP offering can be integrated into utilities’ existing supervisory control and data acquisition platforms, providing forecasts of energy demand and generation, according to the companies.
Partnership Combines DERMS Capabilities
Shifted’s Grid Maestro DERMS specializes in smart management of household energy sources, such as water heaters, thermostats, pool pumps, electric vehicle chargers, and smart appliances. Swell’s GridAMP platform focuses on smart management and dispatch of solar and energy storage assets. Combining these capabilities is expected to streamline energy management and overall optimize system performance across entire smart, electrified homes, the companies said.
“As households increasingly electrify and adopt devices requiring energy orchestration, the software required to co-optimize the operations of solar panels, home batteries, EV chargers, and smart appliances has to converge,” said Suleman Khan, CEO of Swell Energy. “Through this partnership, Shifted and Swell are facilitating data-driven operations across the electrified home to enhance customer economics while benefiting grid operations for utilities.”
The companies expect the partnership to broaden their offerings and overall expand their market presence. They also plan to pursue future utility engagements together, building on their VPP contracts with utilities in the United States and Canada.
DERMS, Virtual Power Plants Importance in Grid Resilience, Renewables Adoption
DERMS are also used by utilities to manage electricity demand and to direct energy from renewable sources, such as solar or wind energy, into the grid. Renewables present a more distributed energy model as opposed to the conventional, fossil fuel-based grid, and decentralized systems have been considered key to sustainable strategies and transitions.
Distributed energy systems may support utilities as more renewables are added to the grid and as they work to accommodate shifting energy demand. Virtual management platforms also help provide an increasing number of people with access to clean energy.
Both Swell and Shifted said they have committed to an equitable clean energy transition as a part of their efforts to improve grid stability and energy management. Shifted has developed solutions for low- to moderate-income groups, specifically in Hawaii. Swell has also helped energy-vulnerable communities in California adopt solar power and battery storage.
The companies also said they intend to prioritize achieving investment in the industry to ensure universal access to clean energy and promote VPP participation payments and rewards as a way to further DER affordability.