ORIGINAL REPORTING: Hollywood’s Virtual Power Plant
Hollywood's next star could be virtual power plants as LADWP closes out natural gas; Sunrun's 295 MW residential solar-storage VPP proposal for Los Angeles could be proof-of-concept
Herman K. Trabish | Aug. 13, 2019 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: Proposals for solar+storage projects to take over from conventional power plants continue to emerge from New England to Southern California and Hawaii.
With rising penetrations of variable renewables and customer adoption of distributed energy resources (DER), electricity providers' attention is shifting to distribution systems. Better distribution system control capabilities are being developed to meet power flow challenges. Switches, sensors and software are allowing power providers to use aggregated residential DER systems like small virtual power plants (VPPs) that can balance renewable generation variability and supply grid services.
Utilities are modernizing distribution systems with hardware and software that turn the challenges of changing power flows into opportunities. But DER management systems (DERMS) and advanced distribution management systems (ADMS) come with price tags. The VPP, an aggregation of optimized distributed resources that provide the same services as a traditional power plant VPP, proposed for the aging Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) system that serves Hollywood and much of the city, may soon become the first full-scale test of the VPP value proposition.
To manage more unpredictable distribution system supply-demand dynamics, electricity providers have increased emphasis on demand side management. With software and automation, VPPs expand DER functions on the distribution system, and deliver the same services (and more) as a traditional power plant without concerns about land use, air emissions and waste management. They also harvest the value of all customers' flexible loads for peak load relief… click here for more