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Sunday, September 25, 2022

My Virtual Summer

Event Notification From Portland General Electric(PGE) Smart Battery Program

We joined our local utility's Virtual Power Plant (VPP). If you want to know more about what a VPP is, we've covered that here. In short, the utility can turn on (discharge) hundreds of home batteries like mine when needed to supply additional power to the grid. It's a dispatchable distributed (cloud) energy storage system. 

A VPP is like Energy from The Cloud

This is a list of all the times this year (so far), that PGE has tapped our battery to support the grid.

2022 PGE VPP Events To-Date
Date       Time            Rate        Energy    
Jan 275PM-8PM   2kW   6kWh  
Jan 285PM-8PM 2kW6kWh
March 18  5PM-6PM 2kW2kWh
April 138PM-9PM 2kW2kWh
April 258PM-9PM 2kW2kWh
July 115PM-8PM 3kW9kWh
July 265PM-8PM 3kW9kWh
July 285PM-8PM 3kW9kWh
Aug 84PM-7PM 3kW9kWh
Aug 174PM-7PM 3kW9kWh
Aug 184PM-7PM 3kW9kWh
Aug 304PM-7PM 3kW9kWh
Sept 64PM-7PM 3kW9kWh
Totals33 Hours90kWh

That's 13 events this year. The early events seemed to be testing out the system. These events were lower power and shorter events. The real use cases started in July. There were 8 of these hot summer day events, where our batteries worked in cooperation with all the other home batteries in VPP to provide energy and frequency stabilization.

I can't help but notice that the energy use total for this year is 90kWhs. Our Tesla Model X is a 90D, which means that the battery capacity is about 90kWhs. So these events used the same amount of energy as one fully charged Tesla Model S/X 90D.


One final note, each of these event notifications comes with a simple opt-out link that you can click if you don't want your home battery to participate. I'm not sure why you'd opt-out if you're signed up for the program, but if you do have a reason to want your battery all to yourself, they make it easy to keep your stored energy for your own purposes.

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