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Sunday, January 14, 2024

Power Outages & VPP Events

Portland General Electric Power Outage Map Jan 13th 2024

It's been a busy couple of days for our Powerwalls.

Virtual Power Plant 

On Friday, January 12th our electric utility, Portland General Electric, held a VPP event. The event was held from 5PM until nearly 8PM. During the event, we exported a total of 21.6 kWh. This is the first event where we were able to participate at the full 9kW rate available in this program. Previously we were only at the default 3kW export rate.

The we were paid $36.72 for the energy we sent to the grid. This is not a huge amount, but we buy the bulk of our electricity during off-peak times for 5.160 ¢ per kWh and when they have an event like this, we sell energy to the utility for $1.70 per kWh. That's a 3,200% gross margin.

Power Outage

As you can see in the outage map above, over 135 thousand people in my region are currently without power in their home. We've seen snow, sleet, freezing rain, high winds, and falling trees across the area. The winter storm was the result of warm moisture air from the Pacific running into an arctic blast.

Our Powerwalls went into StormWatch mode early on Saturday morning. The power outages started in the early afternoon. So far, we've been lucky and our grid connection continues to operate. The batteries are full and on standby in case that changes. 


It's interesting that these events occurred on back to back days. They both require home batteries but they are very different. In the first case, we're supplying energy to the grid to help keep it stable and operational. While in the second case, we're keeping the battery full in order to support our home if/when the grid goes down.

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