- American solar installer Sunrun has announced winning a contract to supply around 1,000 Brightbox home battery systems to Oahu Island in Hawaii
- Solar power stored in these systems will be able to supply power to the grid when called for by Hawaiian Electric
- While Sunrun and OATI will be remunerated by Hawaiian Electric for managing and dispatching home solar and battery stored energy to the grid, their customers will also receive credits on their electricity bills for sending electricity from their Brighbox systems to the grid
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Sunrun Inc. will deploy close to 1,000 Brightbox home battery systems on Hawaii’s Oahu Island under an ‘innovative’ Grid Services Purchase Agreement with grid technology company Open Access Technology International, Inc. (OATI). The US residential solar installer and energy services company, said, this will form one of the largest residential virtual power plants in the world.
The installations will begin in 2020 and run till 2024 and will send solar power stored in these systems to the electric grid when there is high energy demand or risk of blackouts as declared by Hawaiian Electric on Hawaii’s most populated island.
In lieu, Hawaiian Electric will compensate Sunrun and OATI for managing and dispatching home solar and battery stored energy to the grid, thus opening up a new revenue stream for both the partners. Sunrun says its customers who participate in the program will also receive credits on their electricity bills for sending electricity stored in their Brightbox systems to the grid as a virtual power plant.
“This program is a clear demonstration that rooftop solar and batteries are driving the creation of a more locally-powered energy system, and provide important value to customers, utilities, and the broader electricity grid,” said Sunrun co-founder and CEO Lynn Jurich.
This deal follows Sunrun’s 20 MW contract win under US grid operator ISO New England’s 13th Annual Forward Capacity Market Auction in February 2019, making it the first time in the country for home solar and battery storage to have directly participated in the wholesale capacity market alongside centralized power plants. The American company identified it as a new source of revenue generation back then (see Sunrun Wins Solar Contract For US Grid Operator).
Hawaiian Electric is looking at various ways to ensure timely replacement of a coal-fired plant in Oahu and pair it with energy storage to provide stable energy supply for the island, something it has specified in what is termed as among the largest single renewable energy procurements undertaken by a US utility for 900 MW capacity (see Hawaiian Electric Launches RFP For 900 MW RE).