Virtual power plant professional Swell Energy reveals software application platform ahead of 80MW Hawaii project

Feb 14, 2022 02:18 PM ET
  • Swell Energy, a United States firm being experts in virtual power plant (VPP) projects accumulating property solar PV and also battery storage, has introduced a distributed energy resources administration system (DERMS) software application platform.
Virtual power plant professional Swell Energy reveals software application platform ahead of 80MW Hawaii project
Image: Swell Energy

Swell Energy has won VPP contracts standing for more than 300MWh of battery storage space, with utilities Souther California Edison (SCE) and Hawaiian Electric Co (HECO), along with a smaller project with Disadvantage Edison in New York City. It has actually increased US$ 450 million in financing to date.

Recently the company announced the launch of GridAmp, Swell's proprietary DERMS platform which will certainly do the technological heavy lifting to aggregate distributed energy resources (DERs) like battery storage and roof solar arrays to form a lot bigger energy or grid solutions resources.

The Hawaii VPP project will certainly be the first to see GridAmp brought onboard. The project has already been accepted by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission as well as will certainly see 80MW of new and also existing customer-sited sources throughout 3 islands in the Pacific United States state leveraged to assist HECO.

The software application makes use of optimization algorithms as well as machine learning versions to inform and also automate the operation of aggregated systems. It can increase incomes for both the utility and the end-customer, throughout multiple worth streams, Swell Energy claimed. This includes co-optimisation across several 'stacked' worth streams that originate from delivered different applications.

In an in-depth two component interview collection with Energy-Storage. news last year, Swell Energy chief executive officer Suleman Khan said that a person of the primary vehicle drivers for the Hawaii project is to allow HECO to increase its use wind energy that might otherwise be lost.

House battery storage systems will certainly be charged with wind energy thought about excess to grid needs at times of overflow.

" So we're generally assisting HECO not clip excess wind energy. We're keeping that excess wind energy, which is a big deal, given just how much wind HECO has and also usage at night," Khan said.

This application, although essential, is just one of several the VPP will certainly execute: it will additionally assist the utility with its ramp up as well as ramp down of solar and also other resources along with performing regularity guideline. Khan described the latter as a fairly "benign" use batteries from a biking standpoint, needing "short, direct hits right into the grid".

In other regions, the applications the VPPs will be directed to carry out vary depending upon the requirements of the utility having for them.

For either projects with SCE in California, Swell's VPP will be at a new residence growth. By utilizing aggregated client sources, the utility business can delay the requirement to invest money and also sources building out electric distribution network facilities to meet the growth in lots.

In New York City, Swell has likewise been acquired to supply a 'non-wires service' for Con Edison, releasing about 500kW of home battery storage space to minimize requirement for capital expenditure on substation equipment upgrades.

The VPPs will certainly do every one of this while likewise using homeowners with the methods to use their own solar-generated power and maintain some energy in reserve for backup when it comes to emergencies as well as outages.

Swell Energy chief executive officer Suleman Khan claimed in a statement that the new software program enables the co-optimisation of the "VPP experience".

" GridAmp co-optimises the VPP experience for end-users and the utility, basically boosting value as well as customer involvement in producing, consuming, and negotiating renewable electricity," he stated.

Last September, the VPP professional exposed that the 6,000 approximately getting involved homes in the Hawaii VPP program on the islands of O'ahu, Maui as well as Hawaii Island would receive around US$ 1,500 per battery gadget over the project's five-year lifetime. A customer with as many as 3 battery systems at their house might come back US$ 11,700 over that time.

In the middle of last year, HECO likewise started a 'Battery Bonus' plan, offering single cash rewards to property as well as industrial clients on Oahu that get battery storage space to pair with their solar PV.

Swell Energy collaborates with equipment from countless OEMs on its VPPs, consisting of Tesla's Powerwalls. Chief Executive Officer Suleman Khan was working at Tesla in 2015 when the original Powerwall was introduced, having actually taken his history in structure money into the eco-friendly room and after that energy storage space.

California's large 3 utilities eager to comprehend worth of VPPs

In December, Swell Energy stated it is among manufacturers as well as remedy providers in the DERs room functioning to recognize new use situations for property grid solutions with California's 3 main investor-owned utilities (IOUs): SCE, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and also San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E).

The three utilities are functioning to expand the participation of household sources in their Capacity Bidding Programs, guaranteeing their networks have adequate power and can minimize the lots they draw from the CAISO grid, specifically during the emergency situation scenarios and also outage circumstances that have actually been experienced over the last few years.

In addition to its two existing VPPs with SCE, Swell Energy will function to determine more applications for domestic solar and also storage space properties, to ensure that they could be utilized to help balance the grid in various situations and make use of cases.

In PG&E's solution location, Swell Energy will certainly enroll solar-plus-storage customers directly right into the Capacity Bidding Program, handling their systems during durations of high need or high wholesale power prices.

SDG&E's very own Capacity Bidding Program has just been open to commercial and industrial (C&I) customers so far-- Swell Energy will help the utility broaden that out to include domestic systems too.

In October Swell Energy announced a 45MWh VPP contract with a different type of California energy distributor: the business signed up with community choice aggregator (CCA) energy distributor Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA) for the stipulation of energy capacity and back up power to an area beset with public safety and security power shutoffs (PSPS), discerning grid power outages caused throughout wildfire periods.

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