German energy company Sonnen partners on virtual power plant in US
Bavarian energy storage group Sonnen is building a virtual power plant from private storage systems as part of a joint project with US energy supplier Rocky Mountain Power and the Wasatch Group, Business Wire reports. The Soleil Lofts apartment community in Herriman, Utah, is the site of what is described as a first-of-a-kind network of solar powered battery storage systems, known as a virtual power plant (VPP). Sonnen has installed more than 600 individual Sonnen ecoLinx batteries, totaling 12.6 megawatt-hours (MWh) of solar energy storage that is managed by Rocky Mountain Power, the local utility, to provide emergency back-up power, daily management of peak energy use and demand response for the overall management of the electric grid. Wasatch CEO Dell Loy Hansen said the project aims to help solve the Salt Lake Valley’s serious air quality issues. “Early in the design process it was clear that Sonnen was the leader in battery solutions to meet the needs of this project and others like it,” Hansen added.
Solar power home storage systems are seen as an important technology to improve renewable power use for private customers and to also provide flexibility to the grid. According to Germany's government, the country's total power storage capacity could grow by more than 50 times over the next decade. Sonnen was taken over by oil major Shell earlier this year.