Sunrun was exclusively selected by Puerto Rico’s electric utility provider to help rebuild and transform the island’s energy system through the development of a 17 MW virtual power plant (VPP), the first distributed large-scale storage program on the island.
The VPP will help lower energy costs for all consumers, reduce pollution island-wide and help harden Puerto Rico’s fragile grid with reliable, abundant solar energy by networking together more than 7,000 Sunrun solar-plus-battery systems installed on homes.
Sunrun will spend the next year enrolling customers into the program and begin networked dispatches in 2024. Batteries enrolled in the VPP will continue maintaining adequate backup reserves to power through potential grid outages at participants’ homes. All customers with batteries are also eligible to enroll and can opt out at any point during the 10-year program.
“Puerto Ricans are ready to make the move to reliable independent clean energy solutions that will increase their sense of safety and security in their own homes,” says Sunrun CEO Mary Powell. “We’re solving energy insecurity on the island by switching the model so that solar energy is generated on rooftops and stored in batteries to power each home, and then shared with neighbors, creating a clean shared energy economy. That way, residents not only have control over their energy at home, but can also share power with their community and be compensated for it.”
“A huge thanks to our channel partners in Puerto Rico, who have endured through so many climatic events yet continue to help Sunrun deliver energy independence and peace of mind to thousands of Puerto Rican households,” Powell continues. “I also want to thank those dedicated to advancing clean energy policy on the island to make these projects possible – Governor Pierluisi, the legislature, the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau and the Solar and Energy Storage Association of Puerto Rico, as well as the U.S. Department of Energy, which has provided technical assistance to the rebuilding effort. It is critical we continue efforts to ensure there is clean, reliable and affordable power for all in Puerto Rico.”
In 2019, two years after Hurricane Maria dismantled the island’s electric grid, the Puerto Rico Energy Public Policy Act was passed by the legislature to set the parameters for a forward-looking energy system that maximizes distributed generation. The Puerto Rico Energy Bureau determined that VPPs were key to achieving the legislation’s goals of building a resilient and robust energy system and meeting Puerto Rico’s renewable portfolio standards.
The governing board of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority approved the terms of the agreement, which is subject to regulatory sign-off by the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau and the Fiscal Oversight Management Board.