AutoGrid’s AI-Powered VPP Platform Will Orchestrate Batteries, Electric Vehicles, and Thermostats for the largest Community Choice Aggregator in California
REDWOOD CITY, CA Sep 27, 2021 — The world’s #1 Virtual Power Plant (VPP) provider, AutoGrid Systems Inc, today announced that Clean Power Alliance (CPA) of California will be utilizing the company’s VPP solutions and scheduling coordinator services in California ISO (CAISO). The partnership provides CPA’s Power Response Program with advanced capabilities to help stabilize California’s power grid infrastructure, contribute to cleaner energy throughout the state and bring about positive climate change.
The stability of the California grid is more and more in focus – as evident by the ever-increasing number of FLEX Alerts issued by CAISO. Each utility in the state is facing challenges to best prepare and contribute to the stability of the electricity grid. To meet these demands, Clean Power Alliance of California, the state’s largest Community Choice Aggregator (CCA), will be deploying AutoGrid’s VPP and scheduling coordinator services to lower energy demand on the electricity grid.
As the largest CCA in California serving 3 million people, CPA plays a pivotal role in the state’s grid stability and condition. Now, powered by AutoGrid FlexTM, CPA will be using the latest in energy artificial intelligence (AI) to manage a number of initiatives, including the deployment of a large fleet of residential batteries, connecting EV chargers, and maximizing impact of smart thermostats. AutoGrid’s Flex platform will orchestrate the usage of these flexible assets in order to maximize benefit to the grid while, at the same time, minimizing effects on CPA’s consumers. AutoGrid is partnering with leading OEMs and energy-as-a-service companies such as Sunnova (NYSE: NOVA), ChargePoint (NYSE: CHPT), ecobee, Emerson (NYSE: EMR), Google Nest and other leading thermostat vendors.
“In recent years, we’ve witnessed California energy grids being overextended at unprecedented, alarming rates,” said Jack Clark, Director of Programs at Clean Power Alliance. “We look forward to working with AutoGrid on our Power Response program. Demand Response can be a powerful tool in helping to serve and educate our customers, and ultimately reduce strain on the grid.Virtual Power Plants, like those from AutoGrid, help stabilize, rebalance and increase efficiency and even let our customers contribute to positive energy modifications on a local level that – when combined – can make a big difference.”
Under the contract AutoGrid will deliver 6MW of demand-side energy resources that will be used to replace peak capacity to CPA through consumer participation. The capacity will be traded on the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), which operates the state’s grid and wholesale markets. CAISO will then generate revenue for CPA, using AutoGrid as the qualified scheduling coordinator. With over 5,000 megawatts of assets under contract, and experience of managing distributed energy resources in 12 countries, AutoGrid is the leading provider of Virtual Power Plant solutions globally.
“In the wake of the state’s ongoing wildfires and increased grid outages, the 21st century homeowner is increasingly seeking reliable and affordable energy for their family’s needs,” said Michael Grasso, EVP, Chief Marketing and Growth Officer at Sunnova. “By committing the much needed behind the meter capacity from Sunnova’s Southern California customers while using Autogrid’s Flex platform, homeowners will now be able to directly contribute to making their own local grid more stable and efficient by providing it with clean, resilient and distributed resources.”
“ChargePoint is proud to partner with AutoGrid on this vital program,” said Anthony Harrison, Head of Utility Partnerships. “As EV adoption continues to tick upward, access to smart, networked residential charging is key to ensuring stability of and benefits to the power grid. This collaboration will prove influential in appropriately managing EV charging as a part of the larger grid infrastructure, with the right set of charging solutions in place to support California’s grid needs.”
“Our collective goal is to protect residents of California from further power outages and rising energy costs, and one way to achieve that is to simplify participation in energy savings events during peak times”, said Kari Binley, Partnership Manager, ecobee Energy. “ecobee is pleased to participate in CPA’s Power Response Program with our partner AutoGrid to provide reassurance to Californians during an increasingly dire time. Through this partnership, we are making it easier for ecobee homeowners to contribute to a more stable and reliable grid in their communities, while maximizing comfort in their homes.”
AutoGrid implementations will target single family homes, low income residences, as well as commercial sites, setting a powerful example for how all types of consumers can participate in developing a cleaner and more reliable grid. Further, as the CPA Power Response Program scales up from a few hundred participants in the pilot, to a goal of over 10,000 participants in less than three years, this would allow the program to significantly reduce costs of their future energy purchases.The revenues available through participation in VPP programs not only help lower the cost of energy for CPA reducing the need to purchase cost-prohibitive peak power, they also help lower the overall cost of operating the grid by avoiding and deferring expensive infrastructure upgrades. This benefits all electric consumers, including those who are not directly participating in these programs, and significantly reduces the usage of fossil fuel power plants.
“AutoGrid is pleased to be working with CPA to support and transform the state’s energy landscape with increased incremental grid resources in the face of energy demand challenges,” said Amit Narayan, founder & CEO of AutoGrid. “Virtual Power Plants not only help with immediate crises like the power outages and overextensions we’ve recently witnessed, but also let energy-conscious Californians do their parts to better their communities and make positive impacts on the environment.”
In California alone, there are approximately 17 gigawatts of fossil-fuel burning peaker power plants, which are used for less than 15 percent of the total hours available during the year. Many of these plants serve load pockets in dense urban areas in California, including more than twenty facilities which have more than 100,000 people living within a three-mile radius of the plant. Furthermore, half of the state’s peaker plants are located in disadvantaged communities, as defined by California’s environmental justice screening tool CalEnviroScreen and disproportionately burden socioeconomically vulnerable census tracts.
AutoGrid builds AI-powered software solutions that enable a smarter energy world. The company’s suite of flexibility management applications allows utilities, electricity retailers, renewable energy project developers and energy service providers to deliver clean, affordable and reliable energy by managing networked distributed energy resources (DERs) in real time, at scale through different value streams. AutoGrid’s flagship application, AutoGrid Flex, is ranked as the #1 Virtual Power Plant Platform in the world according to the global ranking published in 2020 by industry-leading research and analysis firm Guidehouse (formerly, Navigant Research). Additional information can be found at: http://www.auto-grid.com
Founded in 2017, Clean Power Alliance is the locally operated electricity provider for 30 cities across Los Angeles County and Ventura County, as well as the unincorporated areas of both counties. CPA is the fifth largest electricity provider in California and the single largest provider of 100% renewable energy to customers in the nation. CPA serves approximately three million customers via one million customer accounts, providing clean renewable energy at competitive rates. To view CPA’s 2020 Impact Report, click here. For complete information regarding CPA visit cleanpoweralliance.org.
Jory White, for AutoGrid
Joseph Cabral, for Clean Power Alliance