Swell raises $120M for virtual power plants to connect… | Rare Techy
Swell’s solution is a ;“two-way marketing offer” that separates the contractual terms and budget for the part of the solar-battery system tied to the net-measured value of the customers from the part of the battery dedicated to fulfill in the needs of the VPP.
For example, instead of paying for a solar-roof system and a battery system, a homeowner can save money and buy power to the grid, and a Swell customer can pay monthly rent or credit. , he said. But in a separate financing agreement, Swell may agree to pay that customer monthly for the VPP value provided by that battery, he says – a value that can add up to thousands of dollars over the life of the VPP contract.
That’s how Swell arranges for batteries to be installed for customers who sign up. Starting next year, it will begin offering leases and credit structures to third-party power and battery installers working together in California, Hawaii and other relevant states, Khan said.
“We like productizing the VPP — we’re creating a marketing product offering for that,” he said. In other words, the company is creating a set of methods for its solar plant grid and battery installation to create the VPP send to customers for Swell.
This type of approach is designed to clearly show the financial value of participating in a VPP something new today, he said. Most VPPs to date have been launched by major electrical and battery suppliers that have developed their own systems for paying customers, either by one-time, prepaid or gift cards. to encourage people to sign up, to delay payments based on the amount of each. include the client’s home.
Swell’s focus is on VPPs built on mutual contracts and instruments, which come with defined benefits for years to come, allowing it to follow a monthly payment structure for its customers, says Khan. While the company is open to entering wholesale energy markets in the future, those markets will likely be tighter and less expensive in the long run, he said.
Ability to pay projects to utility contracts, for now, ;“more value to the utility, which means more value to the customer,” he said. It is also important to fulfill the company’s future plans to pack for the long time VPP Contracts for collateral, he said – the financial structure that lowered the capital cost of payday loans over the past decade.
Making grid-to-customer technology work for everyone
To capture a range of values a VPP A device can be provided, a VPP The operator needs to do more than dial in the home’s electricity usage and inject its full battery power into the grid during a few hours of the year, Khan said. That’s what most VPPs do today, whether it’s by participating in traditional utility demand-response programs or placing bids into active marketing efforts.
Swell is a more advanced approach. Most of its contracts involve reducing grid demand or injecting battery power throughout many hours of the year, as well as better reducing the load on the special part of the equipment list, he said. In his case 80– megawatts VPP The contract with the Hawaiian Electric utility, Swell’s batteries are required to be in a state of discharge to absorb wind and solar energy that may exceed the demand on its national grid, he said.
That’s where the Swell grid comes in, says Khan. Central to that effort was Swell’s software, dubbed GridAmp, which was first deployed in support of its Hawaiian Electric contract. It is based on a piece of software developed by a startup AMSone of the companies that is a major player in Southern California Edison’s 2014 distributed energy sales, which Swell bought from the energy storage company Fluence after the acquisition of Fluence AMSsoftware resources in 2020.
To ensure that all solar and battery homes are in a VPP are able to perform the contract they want to perform, and VPP It has two main functions, says Khan.
First, it must connect and communicate with all the devices it controls in the home, including batteries from many different manufacturers. So far, Swell has said that its system will work with batteries from LG Chem, sonnen, Tesla, Enphase and Generac, and more to be announced soon. ;“We want to talk to everyone’s batteries,” he said. ;“It becomes even more important when we talk about batteries on wheels,” that is, electric vehicles, he said.
The second thing a VPP All it needs to do is work with a device’s grid management platform, ;“it’s no small feat,” he said. Instead ;“we passed this with flying colors” with utilities including Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric and San Diego Gas & Electric in California and Con Edison in New York, he said.
“We can handle their requests and how to send them VPP will process it, do that work on the back end, and return to them with M&V,” the measurement and validation confirm that each battery did what it was supposed to do, he said.
In Khan’s view, this kind of integration between devices and devices earns Swell’s GridAmp software the title of distributed energy resource management system, or DERMS. Many companies use similar terms VPP a DERMS to describe their work, but there are many differences between them in terms of strength and cooperation.
Broadening the definition of VPP to meet the needs of the future grid
Equipment is provided to monitor, control or operate the customer’s solar battery systems, EV refrigerators, fans, heating systems, appliances and other electronic devices will become an increasingly important part of the push to go off the grid. A few American utilities, such as Hawaiian Electric and Green Mountain Power in Vermont, have gone beyond pilot projects to use them. ;“behind-the-meter” in a comprehensive way – but many more are planned to be done in the future.
In addition to working with tools, Swell is involved in several large-scale projects that can stretch the boundaries of the VPP theory, Khan said. An example is his work with Nimiipuu Energy, the ;“tribe-to-tribe energy cooperative” launched by the Nez Perce Tribe in Idaho, hopes to connect solar and battery power systems on tribal lands across the Pacific Pacific Northwest.
Details on that project are still being worked out, he said. But in the coming months, he said to watch for more information about a ;“capital-A pooling of behind-the-scenes resources across a group of different nations, to create what we believe will be the greatest. VPP in the land in time.”