Companies Announce New Residential Virtual Power Plant for California

(PowerMag) – A distributed energy power plant, designed to help bring more reliability to California’s power grid, is being developed by a company whose investors include Alphabet, the parent company of Google. The project when fully developed would be the world’s largest residential virtual power plant (VPP).

Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners (SIP), a group that builds, owns, operates, and invests in advanced infrastructure projects and technology companies, on Dec. 7 released details of a $100 million deal as part of Resilia, the company’s new advanced power grid platform. The agreement includes an $80 million commitment to finance the 550-MW Resi-Station project, along with a $20 million investment in OhmConnect, a partner in the VPP.

Growth of VPP installations has accelerated, particularly in areas that have sustained rolling blackouts and power outages. A project in South Australia, with Tesla taking a lead role, was touted as the world’s largest VPP when development began in 2018.   

OhmConnect is a demand response and energy services technology company that works with residential electricity customers to predict, incentivize, and coordinate consumer energy savings. Resi-Station is expected to bring together thousands of electricity customers with in-home smart devices that can deliver targeted energy reductions supported by OhmConnect’s technology, according to SIP. The project’s investors also include the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, based in Toronto, Canada, which has long been a financial supporter of institutional infrastructure projects.