Portland General Electric Company (PGE) has announced a pilot program that will incentivise the installation and connection of 525 residential energy storage batteries to form a 4MW virtual power plant (VPP).
The distributed assets will be able to to be operated individually or combined to serve the grid, adding flexibility that supports the utility’s entry transition goals.
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Set to launch within the next quarter, the programme will offer rebates to customers within three neighbourhoods participating in PGE’s Smart Grid Test Bed, as well as income-qualified customers participating in Energy Trust of Oregon’s Solar Within Reach offer.
Customers participating in the test-bed who purchase a battery will be eligible for an instant rebate, in addition to the monthly bill credit of $40 or $20, which will allow PGE to test the localized grid impact of having a large concentration of battery storage devices available on one substation. Those participating in the Oregon-based programme will be eligible for a $5,000 instant rebate in addition to the monthly bill credits.
PGE will operate and test the benefits of using homes’ batteries, each capable of storing 12 to 16kWh of energy, to optimise the use of renewable energy and grid capabilities, whilst trialling new smart grid technologies for possible future adoption.
“Our vision for clean energy relies on a smart, integrated grid. One of the ways that we’ll achieve that is through creative partnerships and diversified energy resources, including those behind-the-meter,” said Larry Bekkedahl, vice president of Grid Architecture, Integration and Systems Operation.
Bekkedahl: “This pilot project will allow PGE to integrate even more intermittent renewable energy and enhance grid capabilities while also giving participating customers peace of mind in the event of an outage.”