Generac to participate in virtual power plant service for California utility

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Generac has signed on with Southern California Edison (SCE) as a virtual power plant participant to scale the utility’s Power Flex program. 

The Power Flex program allows SCE customers to earn incentives by exporting some of their PV-generated electricity stored in batteries back to the grid when it is experiencing a power shortage. Customers are paid for their participation while also helping the community resist power outages. 

Generac Grid Services will deploy its Concerto platform, a distributed energy resource management system (DERMS). Concerto detects spikes in demand that might otherwise require the activation of a fossil fuel plant. The software signals the batteries to automatically dispatch clean energy based on real-time grid conditions. 

“With increasing frequency, homeowners are installing solar plus battery storage systems to protect against power outages caused by factors like extreme weather or wildfires,” said Bud Vos, president of Generac Grid Services. “This program lets homeowners gain further benefit from these systems by orchestrating their collective energy flexibility into a VPP that directs power flow from where it’s available, to where it is needed, precisely when it is needed most.” 

PWRcell battery cabinet and string inverter.
Image: Generac

In September, Generac announced the release of two new models of microinverters with single-module and dual-module configurations. The two-module inverter is rated to 720W. 

The microinverter product release extended Generac’s move into the residential solar market. The company was already participating in the sector, offering the PWRcell battery series.  

The PWRcell battery can scale from a 3-module, 9 kWh capacity, 4.5 kW output, to a 6-module, 18 kWh, 9kW output. If more storage is needed, multiple PWRcell battery cabinets can be integrated into a single Generac PWRcell inverter for up to 36 kWh capacity and 11 kW continuous backup power. The PWRcell string inverters feature 7.6 kW and 11.4 kW models, with peak efficiencies of 97.3% and 97.7% respectively. 

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