Alectra Study Identifies Residential Solar Storage Potential
April 19, 2017
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Alectra Inc., with the support of the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), has completed a feasibility study for mass adoption of the utility's residential solar storage pilot, POWER.HOUSE, in Southern York Region.
The feasibility study focused on analyzing costs, benefits, technical capabilities, and key considerations associated with aggregating a large-scale fleet of solar storage assets, known as a virtual power plant, to deliver both customer and grid value.
The study found that an expansion of the utility's existing offering is feasible and could result in a positive overall benefit to customers over the study period, with the opportunity to install up to 30,000 new units in Southern York Region by 2031. Implementation of the proposed roll-out could, under the right conditions, result in the potential to defer energy infrastructure investments by at least two years in the late 2020s, while offering customers a significant reduction on their bills by generating their own energy, sending the surplus back to the grid for additional credit and providing a number of grid reliability services.
Funded by the IESO's Conservation Fund, POWER.HOUSE uses an aggregate fleet of residential solar and battery storage systems located at customers' homes. The systems are autonomously controlled through intelligent software to simulate a single, larger power generating facility. The technology, which features a combination of rooftop solar PV panels and a lithium-ion battery installed behind the meter at customers' homes, helps to protect against power outages, off-sets peak hour electricity rates to provide significant reductions on bills and reduces impact during peak system demand, while delivering clean power directly to the customer.
"Alectra is committed to offering clean, cost-effective solutions to our customers, who are faced with managing rising energy costs," said Brian Bentz, President and CEO of Alectra Inc. "POWER.HOUSE is an example of how we can help customers meet future energy demands."
"This is an important project on which the IESO was pleased to partner with Alectra," said Bruce Campbell, President and CEO of the IESO. "The results make a strong case for further study of the technical and commercial potential that residential solar storage can achieve. It will also help inform future efforts that may see these technologies emerge as a sustainable option to support reliable grid operations."
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