SAN FRANCISCO—PowerStream and Sunverge Energy, a San-Francisco-based firm, have launched a solar storage pilot program that aims to reduce home electric bills and provide customers with outage protection. The pilot will initially see 20 homes outfitted with rooftop solar panels as well as Sunverge systems, which provide battery-stored power during peak demand.
The pilot is part of the Ontario utility’s plan to reduce overall power consumption in its service area by 535,440 megawatts hours by 2020, the equivalent of taking more than 62,000 homes off the grid.
“This pilot project with Sunverge is a further testament to PowerStream’s commitment to cost-effectively deliver cleaner and more reliable power to our 375,000 customers,” Maurizio Bevilacqua, PowerStream board chair, said. “The Sunverge systems will allow us to use rooftop-generated solar power more efficiently and reward our customers through significant bill savings.”
Sunverge said the 20 units will be managed by itself and PowerStream and will create a Virtual Power Plant using Sunverge’s cloud-based software.
“That will allow PowerStream to manage them as if they were a larger solar energy or energy storage facility, except the power will be distributed at the point of load,” the company said. Participant homeowners will not only save money, but will gain greater control over their energy usage, Sunverge added.
“This is a win-win for both PowerStream and its customers by paving the way for significantly increased use of green, rooftop solar power that will also be more reliable and save consumers money,” Ken Munson, co-founder and CEO of Sunverge, said. “That’s why we’re going to see much more of these projects in the future from utilities across Canada and the world.”
The rooftop systems will feature 11.4 kilowatt batteries, power electronics and multiple energy inputs controlled by cloud-based software. It should allow customers to use more power from the rooftop systems while lessening their reliance on the grid.