The future of energy storage is here: An inside look at Rocky Mountain Power’s 600-battery DR project
The 12.6 MWh Utah project uses solar and battery systems as a virtual power plant.
SALT LAKE CITY — The first residents of an all-electric and energy efficient community — the largest residential battery demand response project in the United States — are settling into new apartments. Their cars are tucked neatly beneath solar panel covers and their electric cars can plug into charging ports. Inside each apartment in the Soleil Lofts development, a Sonnen battery is humming silently close to their living room.
The residents sign on knowing their backup power can be controlled by the utility and dispatched to the grid as needed by the local utility, Rocky Mountain Power.
The full complex will be finished in the next two years, but the virtual power plant established when the first building opened is a blueprint for developments outside of Utah, according to the real estate developer Wasatch Group.
The Soleil Lofts apartments, under construction in Herriman, Utah, seeks to attract environmentally conscious customers who want to hasten the transition to all-electric and clean energy living. The project represents a collaboration among Rocky Mountain Power, battery developer Sonnen, solar developer Auric Energy and Wasatch. All the partners have plans for modeling the success of the Soleil projects.
The effort is an opportunity for the Pacificorp subsidiary to work with a partner that has experience with energy storage, as the utility learns to better integrate batteries into the grid and enable growth from renewables, according to Bill Comeau, Rocky Mountain Power’s managing director of customer innovations.