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Shadea Mitchell
By
March 26, 2020

Finally. Regulators Clean the Peak.

Hailed as the first Clean Peak Standard in the nation, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources just filed regulations expected to take effect in June that will create credits for clean, renewable energy delivered during peak hours.

Why is this so significant?

With price as the “carrot,” Massachusetts utilities will be rewarded for shifting clean power to the times of day when it’s most valuable to the ISO-NE grid. And because renewables lack on-demand production capabilities, utilities are likely to dramatically increase focus—now, and throughout the integrated resource planning (IRP) process—on ramping up energy storage technologies like residential batteries that store electricity for use during peak loads.

 

At Virtual Peaker, we’re thrilled with these new standards - and we’ve been ready for them for years.

 

As Josh Castonguay, the VP of Innovation at Green Mountain Power (GMP), made clear at the Virtual Peaker Innovation Forum last fall, there’s been a lot of disruption in the utility space. But, at the same time, we haven’t changed the way we deliver energy for the last 100 years. Regulations like the Clean Peak Standard make it possible to evolve the way the grid functions.

 

Since its inception, Virtual Peaker has partnered with GMP on their Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program that leverages residential battery storage to save money, cut carbon, and improve reliability. The system works. During a heat spike last summer, GMP’s network of residential batteries (10 MW capacity) saved almost $900,000 in a single hour. And amid a scary and destructive Halloween 2019 storm that hit GMP’s Vermont service area, 1,100 homes stayed online thanks to the stored energy capacity.

 

Last summer we expanded our portfolio of advanced control programs and partnered with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) to create PowerMinder, a residential customer-centric response to—and optimization of—time-of-day efficiencies for water heaters at the smart-device level without giving up comfort.

 

Since 2018, Virtual Peaker has offered real-time smart device arbitrage and advocated for real-time device control. We’ve also argued that utilities need to implement new retail pricing strategies to decouple the cost of infrastructure from the cost of energy.

 

We hope Massachusetts is just the first of many states to use legislative powers to promote renewable power generation and storage that can save energy and the environment.

Contact us if you want to find out more.

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