Powering Strong Communities

Virtual Power Plants Could Save Utilities $15-$35B in Capacity Investment Over 10 Years: Report

A new report from the Brattle Group finds that 60 gigawatts of virtual power plant deployment could meet future U.S. resource adequacy needs at $15–$35 billion less than the cost of the alternative options over the ensuing decade.

The report, Real Reliability: The Value of Virtual Power, provides an introduction to VPPs and models their value and performance versus conventional resource adequacy options.

The report, which was prepared for Google, compares the net cost of providing 400 MW of resource adequacy from three resource types: a natural gas peaker, a transmission-connected utility-scale battery, and a VPP composed of residential demand flexibility technologies.

The study also identifies key near-term activities for enabling the deployment of VPPs, which currently are adopted well below their market potential.

VPPs are distributed energy resource portfolios that can include technologies such as rooftop solar, smart thermostats, smart water heaters, electric vehicles, and distributed batteries.

The report also found that 60 GW of VPP could provide over $20 billion in additional societal benefits – such as those related to emissions and resilience – over ten years.