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Climate and Environment

Urszula Papajak
Freelance Journalist

Passionate about solutions that empower citizens in their fight for energy democracy. She will be curating an online discussion about the current energy transition, covering news on smart grid developments, new regulatory solutions supportive of citizen-owned renewable energy and much more.

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piqer: Urszula Papajak
Sunday, 15 October 2017

German Startup Brings Its Virtual Power Plant To The US

Policy is often cited as the number one obstacle to energy innovation: Many new solutions prove to be technically feasible but outdated regulation prevents their further development.

Take the value of distributed assets for the grid for instance. No one has really figured out yet how to actually define it, let alone write policy that somehow regulates it.

As an innovator, leading projects that don't always align well with outdated policy, one can either attempt to change the policy – or search for different approaches. German startup Sonnen chose the latter. 

After arriving in the US and realising that the current policy model in Arizona wasn't well matched with the company’s plan, they decided to tackle the project from the other end: the home.

Sonnen now plans to outfit a high-efficiency housing development built by Mandalay Homes in Prescott Valley, Arizona, stocking some 2,900 new houses with its signature storage system.

Once built, the companies will have a massive distributed power plant on their hands. With just the first fifth complete, the neighborhood will have 10 megawatts of dispatchable power at the ready, far beyond the miniscule pilots that pass as virtual power plants these days.

An interesting development to follow.

German Startup Brings Its Virtual Power Plant To The US
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