Sunnova to participate in battery emergency program in Puerto Rico


Sunnova Energy International, Inc. is ready to participate in the Battery Emergency Demand Response program in Puerto Rico by coordinating the energy output and storage of its solar-plus-battery customers to help stabilize the grid.

The company reports that it has 55,000 solar and storage customers, with a total installed storage capacity of 727 MWh. The way the Battery Emergency Demand Response program works is that, when the grid is under stress, Luma Energy, the company that manages the grid in Puerto Rico, may request that participating solar-plus-battery systems discharge battery storage to the site or to the grid.

Sunnova expects to dispatch a participating customer’s battery up to a maximum number of 125 events each year. The company reports that in each demand response, the customers’ battery will never be discharged below a capacity level of their choosing. Participating customers will be credited by Sunnova, the company says, for the energy produced by their batteries during these events.

Distributed solar and storage customers sign up with Sunnova to participate in what the company calls the Sunnova Flex Power Program. By compensating customers for the power supplied by their batteries, they are incentivized to participate in a program designed to provide energy that reduces strain on the grid and minimizes blackouts at critical times.

Sunnova CEO, William J. (John) Berger noted that its customers will maintain resiliency and energy independence and that their batteries will never be dispatched immediately ahead of predicted hurricanes or severe weather.

“The unfortunate reality of an unreliable local electrical grid and frequent power outages has plagued Puerto Rico for far too long. Luckily, a new era of energy stability and empowerment is here,” said Berger. “By harnessing the energy stored in batteries during times of high demand or emergencies, homeowners can actively contribute to grid stabilization and be rewarded for their valuable contribution, all while benefitting electricity consumers across the Island.”

Compensation under the program will be based on how much energy each customer’s battery provides when called upon, the company reports, estimating that the average residential customer may receive up to $1,000 annually for their participation. The customer will receive the incentive as credit toward their account each year or they will receive a payment.

Sunnova’s program is being launched under the aegis of the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau’s (PREB) Energy Efficiency and Emergency Demand Response Programs, expected to commence later this year pursuant to the Government of Puerto Rico’s public policy on energy efficiency.

The Puerto Rico Energy Transformation and Relief Act of 2014 (Act 57-2014) requires the PREB to establish energy efficiency programs in order for Puerto Rico to reduce energy consumption from current levels, thereby lowering individual customers’ energy bills and rebuilding a stronger and more cost-effective energy system that reduces the need for more expensive fossil fuel generation.

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