US utility unveils the largest residential battery demand response solution


US utility Rocky Mountain Power has unveiled a unique virtual power plant for a new smart home community in Herriman in Utah.

Rocky Mountain Power partnered with battery technology firm sonnen and the Wasatch Group to develop the Soleil Lofts apartment community.

The smart community comprises first-of-a-kind network of solar-powered battery storage systems to optimise onsite energy generation, storage and usage.

The smart community includes over 600 sonnen ecoLinx batteries with a total capacity of 12.6MWh.

Rocky Mountain Power manages the whole system, provides emergency back-up power, daily management of peak energy use and demand response for the overall management of the electric grid.

The Soleil Lofts community will be the largest fully installed and operational residential battery demand response solution in the United States once it is fully complete by December 2020.

Dell Loy Hansen, CEO of the Wasatch Group, said: “As the developer of Soleil Lofts, we started with the firm belief we could build a community that was solving the Salt Lake Valley’s serious air quality issues today and in the future. That belief led us to partner with Rocky Mountain Power, sonnen and Auric Energy for the development of an all-electric community utilising solar and batteries.

“The combination of solar and long-lasting, safe, intelligent energy storage managed by the local utility is an essential component to the clean energy grid of the future. The solar industry should find inspiration in this extraordinary project, as it provides a blueprint for the future of grid optimized battery storage,” said Blake Richetta, CEO of sonnen Inc.

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Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.