East Bay Customers Support California's Grid During Extreme Heat Wave

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 9/20/2022, Location: North America

East Bay Community Energy (EBCE), one of the nation's top clean energy providers, announced that more than a thousand solar and home battery customers participating in EBCE's Resilient Home Program provided critical emergency energy to stave off rolling blackouts during California's unprecedented string of Flex Alerts.

In an effort to stabilize the statewide grid during record energy demand last week, California's Independent System Operator (ISO) and Department of Water Resources (DWR) activated expensive emergency power generators. Additionally, the state's investor-owned utilities have installed and operated polluting backup generators in Northern and Southern California an additional 80 megawatts of emergency generation capacity that's used only during peak events - an amount Sunrun dispatches to the California grid every day through its growing fleet of solar-plus-battery systems.

For the past two years, EBCE and Sunrun have been installing new solar + battery systems and enrolled more than 1,000 single-family homes in Alameda County and Tracy into EBCE's Resilient Home program. Resilient Home customers are compensated for dispatching their battery energy in a Virtual Power Plant that reduces EBCE's peak demand, improves the resilience of the local power grid, and insulates customers from the impacts of power outages.

According to data from Sunrun, the nation's leading home solar, battery storage, and energy services provider, the company delivered 1.1 gigawatt-hours of energy back to California's grid during peak demand hours of 4-9 p.m. from September 1-8, including 55 megawatt-hours from nearly 1,000 solar-plus-battery customers in EBCE territory, underscoring the incredible value distributed energy provides.

"EBCE developed this program two years ago as a means of increasing the resilience of the grid," said Nick Chaset, CEO of East Bay Community Energy. "It was immediately following a monumental season of drought, heat, and wildfires, and we knew that wasn't an isolated incident, so we got to work helping customers install home battery systems that could be dispatched to the grid at critical times. Last week's success in avoiding rolling blackouts is a testament to our customers' collective action."

"Every year we find ourselves battling prolonged heat waves that push our antiquated grid to the brink of failure, yet we react the same way every time," said Mary Powell, CEO of Sunrun. "We must break away from traditional thinking and change our approach to dealing with the devastating impacts of climate change. EBCE's forward-thinking programs are a bellwether for how to provide pathways for Californians to take control over their energy, lower costs and put customers at the center of our energy system."

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