Orange & Rockland Utilities (O&R) and Sunrun announced the companies have received approval to deploy rooftop solar and battery systems as part of an innovative virtual power plant project supporting New York’s transition to clean, reliable, locally generated electricity.
Beginning this year, Sunrun will bundle rooftop solar energy stored in more than 300 Brightbox battery systems and deliver it to the electricity grid when called upon by O&R. O&R and Sunrun’s implementation plans were accepted by the New York Public Service Commission (NYPSC) last Friday. By bundling and coordinating the energy stored in Sunrun’s Brightbox home battery systems, Sunrun will form a virtual power plant to partially offset demand on O&R’s electricity grid in key areas, while providing clean, reliable, locally-generated solar power to residents in Orange and Rockland counties.
“This initiative will help our customers to incorporate new technologies and assist in maintaining efficient, resilient, reliable and sustainable electric operations,” said O&R VP of operations Francis W. Peverly.
The program identifies new ways for Sunrun’s Brightbox home battery systems to create value for the electric grid, enabling Sunrun to earn compensation from O&R for managing and dispatching the networked home solar and battery-stored energy. O&R will in turn benefit by leveraging these local resources to reduce electricity load on O&R’s heavily used distribution system in these areas. By participating in this program, O&R customers will gain access to clean energy provided by Sunrun’s home rooftop solar and Brightbox battery storage systems at a discounted rate.
Virtual power plants are growing in popularity as utilities and grid operators increasingly see the value afforded to the electricity system by residential solar and battery storage. Sunrun and O&R’s initiative builds on this momentum and further demonstrates the value of local clean energy resources as a resource for electric utilities.
“New Yorkers know all too well the importance of resilient and reliable electricity. Through our initiative with O&R, we are excited to bring the benefits of Brightbox home solar and batteries to more New Yorkers while helping build a cleaner, more resilient electricity system,” said Lynn Jurich, Sunrun co-founder and Chief Executive Officer.
O&R will begin reaching out to its customers in select areas in the coming months to inform them of the opportunity to adopt Sunrun’s Brightbox solar-powered battery system.