O&R, Sunrun Bring Rooftop Solar/Battery Backup Pilot Project to Warwick
Orange & Rockland (O&R) and Sunrun Inc., the nation’s leading home solar, battery storage and energy services company, have developed a new pilot program to deploy 300 rooftop solar and battery backup systems to customers in Warwick as part of an innovative project supporting New York’s transition to clean, reliable, locally-generated electricity.
By hosting a Brightbox system (solar panels plus battery backup), the customer has access to a primary source of daytime household energy from the solar panels and a backup energy supply from the battery that will power the home in the event of a power outage.
The solar panel array is designed to produce 110% of the customer’s annual average usage. If the customer uses more energy than the solar panels produce, the customer would purchase the difference from O&R. So, in the winter months, the solar panels may produce less than required, but in the summer months, they may produce more than necessary. O&R will provide the customer with a credit if the panels produce excess energy.
These figures are driven by the customer’s electricity consumption and the amount of sunlight available. When the backup battery detects an outage on the electric grid, the backup battery will engage and power the home, providing a backup source of energy.
Under the pilot program agreement, O&R’s installation of home batteries permits the company to call on the combined power of these batteries, creating a virtual power plant (VPP). According to the pilot program plan, that combined power can be channeled into the power grid to help support O&R’s electric system during periods of peak electric demand. After a 3-year deployment, the total expected VPP size is 2MW/ 4MWh.
O&R is able to draw up to 80% of the available energy in the battery, leaving the remaining 20% for the customer’s home backup. Twenty percent of the battery capacity will power the home for 4-6 hours.
O&R President and CEO Robert Sanchez said, “Virtual power plants are growing in popularity as utilities, grid operators and customers increasingly see the value afforded to the electric system and the community by residential solar and battery storage. The O&R /Sunrun initiative builds on this momentum and further demonstrates the value of local, clean-energy resources for electric utilities and their customers.”
There are currently 79 Brightbox systems that have been inspected and granted final operating approval from O&R. Another 21 Brightbox system installs are scheduled. Once they are installed by Sunrun and inspected and approved by O&R, a total of 100 Brightbox systems will be operating in the Warwick pilot program.
That means O&R and Sunrun are seeking 200 more customers to join the solar/battery backup program.
For more about the O&R/Sunrun pilot program go to https://www.sunrun.com/orange-and-rockland-program
If you are a Warwick O&R electric customer, you can get more details about this pilot program and how you can participate by emailing O&R’s Project Manager Christian Woods at WOODSC@oru.com. You can also call Sunrun directly at (844) 809-3745 and mention its partnership with O&R.
Within the first few years of operation, O&R expects to dispatch the energy from the batteries, charged by the solar panels on the customer’s roof, for peak summer load reduction on the O&R electric system. In the third year of the pilot and thereafter, O&R expects to sell the energy from the batteries into the wholesale electricity market. Under the contract with Sunrun, O&R has access to the energy in the batteries for 10 years after installation.
When a customer contracts with Sunrun to host a Brightbox system, the customer signs a 25- year purchase power agreement (PPA) for the solar production and, in some cases, agrees to pay a small monthly fee for a premium battery.
When is the fee assessed?
If the customer chooses to install a LG Chem battery, the cost of that battery is subsidized by O&R and the battery provided to the customer at no charge. If the customer chooses a Tesla Powerwall instead, for example, the Tesla battery has 40% greater capacity and can even power a well pump. The cost of the Tesla is $20 per month, on average, for the first 10 years.
Sunrun secures the contract with the customer for the Brightbox system. Sunrun also installs, maintains, and provides any service or warranty that the Brightbox system may need.
About Orange & Rockland
Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. (O&R), a wholly owned subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc., one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies, is a regulated utility. O&R provides electric service to approximately 300,000 customers in southeastern New York State (where its franchise name is Orange & Rockland) and northern New Jersey (where it’s Rockland Electric Company) and natural gas service to approximately 130,000 customers in New York. For more information about O&R, please visit www.oru.com.
Sunrun Inc. (Nasdaq:RUN) is the nation’s leading residential solar, storage and energy services company. With a mission to create a planet run by the sun, Sunrun has led the industry since 2007 with its solar-as-a-service model, which provides clean energy to households with little to no upfront cost and at a saving compared to traditional electricity. The company designs, installs, finances, insures, monitors and maintains the systems, while families receive predictable pricing for 20 years or more. The company also offers a home solar battery service, Sunrun Brightbox, that manages household solar energy, storage and utility power. For more information, please visit: www.sunrun.com.