SunPower, Sunverge collaborate on 4 MWh solar+storage project in New York


U.S. solar power company SunPower has this week launched a new rooftop solar+storage bundle package designed to create a ‘virtual power plant’ in New York comprising 1.8 MW PV capacity and 4 MWh of battery storage.

The $15 million project is part of new York’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) effort, and sees Sunverge Energy Inc supply its lithium-ion battery storage systems, SunPower lease its solar panels and utility Con Edison manage the stored power’s grid feed.

The Idea behind the project is to integrate more solar energy into the local grid, with Con Edison able to dispatch stored power to customers during peak periods, while if a blackout occurs the energy in the batteries can be used by the homeowners.

This pilot program will be available to more than 300 residential customers in New York’s Brooklyn and Queens boroughs, with Con Edison targeting owner-occupied, single-family homes. Participants that sign up to lease SunPower’s solar systems (ranging from 7 kW to 9 kW) will receive a suitably sized battery from Sunverge – the company is offering its 6 kWh and 19.4 kWh storage systems.

The storage systems will be initially owned by Con Edison, enabling the utility to test real-time applications in the field and toy with peak shaving, frequency regulation and further technical capabilities.

According to a report by Energy Storage Update, Con Edison is currently working with the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) to get Sunverge’s battery technology approved in the state.

Concerns over safety and roof access have so far stymied New York City’s solar ambitions – a topic that is discussed at length in the forthcoming pv magazine July issue, published July 1.