California virtual power plant “shattering records” for distributed energy storage

by Elisa Wood, Microgrid knowledge

Southern California Edison’s (SCE) five-year-old experiment with local energy has brought about a new world record with a virtual power plant delivering 2 GWh of grid services, according to AMS, the project designer and operator.

In 2018 — its first year of operation — the virtual power plant was dispatched 250 times to the California Independent System Operator.

Owned by Macquarie Capital, the project uses battery storage to reduce peak demand at large commercial and industrial facilities in the Los Angeles basin. It includes 21 hybrid electric buildings owned by the Irvine Company.

The virtual power plant was one of five energy storage projects selected in 2014 from a ground-breaking solicitation issued by SCE for what the utility calls “preferred resources” — energy storage, solar, wind, energy efficiency and conservation. The utility launched the multi-year pilot program to see if it can meet Orange County’s growing demand for electricity with distributed energy instead of new gas-fired power plants.

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