Energy marketplace developer Leap has partnered with intelligent network provider GridPoint to develop virtual power plants and use flexible electricity for energy resilience in the US.
The partnership aims to provide flexible electricity capacity and energy efficiency savings during peak demand periods and harsh weather events.
The collaboration comes at a time when demand for flexible electricity is expected to increase in the US to accelerate the energy transition and provide resilient energy during extreme weather events which are also expected to increase.
Nearly one in three Americans experienced a weather disaster this summer, resulting in outages.
In addition, the aging infrastructure which is resulting in the underperformance of grid networks can be addressed using capacity acquired from distributed energy systems, according to the statement.
The prosumer model and flexible energy can be used to help consumers to respond to demand changes on the grid in real-time.
Time of Use energy pricing can also be leveraged to reduce energy costs for customers and enable load reductions to ensure grid reliability.
This can also encourage the development of renewable energy assets and help utilities avoid the costs associated with the development of new generation capacity to meet growing energy demand.
Moreover, the flexible energy market provides a new revenue stream for consumers by allowing them to sell excess electricity back onto the grid.
Leap and GridPoint will use capacity from small to midsize buildings and other smart grid-connected technologies such as electric vehicles, energy storage, and smart thermostats. The two companies will grow their networks of grid-interactive buildings and smart technologies to maximize the application of their combined on-demand flexible capacity.
The growth of the flexible energy market in the US is evidenced by Leap expanding its partnerships with 14 major electricity providers across California in June 2021.
Thomas Folker, Leap’s co-founder and CEO, said: “Over the past few summers, California has seen more and more reliability issues from extreme weather events.
“…we’re growing our portfolio ahead of tight system conditions in 2021 and 2022. With our new class of distributed assets and leading distributed energy partners, we look forward to using our flexible capacity to improve grid resiliency and help firm up intermittent renewables.”