PowerStream unveils Canada's first virtual power plant
PowerStream unveiled Canada's first of its kind virtual power plant on Tuesday.
The virtual power plant dubbed Power House, is meant to showcase how how residential customers can simultaneously generate their own clean energy and work together as a virtual
power plant to augment the grid, the company said in a press release.
Power House uses an aggregate fleet of 20 residential solar and energy storage systems located at a customers home, that can be autonomously controlled through
intelligent software to simulate a single, larger power generating facility.
The technology being used is a combination of rooftop solar PV panels and a lithium-ion battery installed “behind the meter” at a customer’s home.
"Power House is another industry-first for PowerStream by providing its customers with the tools required to better manage their electricity costs while having a positive impact on the electricity grid and the environment,” said Maurizio Bevilacqua, PowerStream Board Chair and City of Vaughan Mayor. “We expect to use this first of its kind pilot as a template to offer more sustainable programs for residential customers in the future.”
The company says customers will benefit from generating their own clean and renewable energy, leading to reduced exposure to peak electricity rates and significant bill reduction.
“The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) is committed to assisting in developing and implementing new energy technologies and services that will help utilities provide customers with more energy choices,” sayid Bruce Campbell, President and CEO, IESO. “PowerStream’s Virtual Power Plant is one example of a new solution that we expect to have significant potential in Ontario.”
From a utility perspective, the company claims leveraging carbon-free generating resources and fast-responding energy storage assets can play a pivotal role in several grid supporting functions. These resources can be used to reduce peak system loads, regulate frequency, and even defer capital costs associated with traditional electricity delivery infrastructure.
PowerStream officials said customers will also have the added benefit of outage protection by using energy from a combination of on-site stored and generated solar energy.