Sunrun appoints startup Lunar Energy to manage virtual power plants

By Cameron Murray
A map of the US showing Sunrun and Lunar Energy VPP partners and programmes in five states.
A map of the VPPs in which Sunrun’s batteries are participating through Lunar’s platform. Image: Sunrun / Lunar Energy.

Sunrun has appointed investee Lunar Energy to manage its home battery virtual power plant (VPP) network in the US, with Lunar planning to launch its own battery product in the coming months too.

Sunrun will use the Lunar Gridshare software, an energy management system (EMS) platform which already manages 35,000 home batteries in Japan and 1,600 in Europe, to aggregate the home batteries of its participating US customers. The deal adds “tens of thousands” of batteries to Lunar’s network, the company said.

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Lunar said its work with Sunrun began more than a year ago and that it now manages a dozen VPPs across the country, which are typically tied to a utility or electric co-operative. Examples include ones run by Peninsula Clean Energy, a community choice aggregator in California and Hawaii’s main utility Hawaiian Electric Company.

The Gridshare platform was developed and commercialised by UK firm Moixa, which Lunar acquired last year. Lunar Energy also plans to launch its own home battery product in the coming months, and its software will be built-in allowing homes to enrol in VPP programs from an app.

The platform was used in a programme from Southern California Edison (SCE), one of California’s three big investor-owned utilities, to deliver 60% more energy from Sunrun’s VPP than was previously possible. In Hawaii, it provided both power to the grid and ancillary service Fast Frequency Response.

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