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sonnenConnect Launches in California, Providing a First-of-its-Kind Alternative to Net Metering

21 Sep 2022

sonnen, a global market leader in smart energy storage and virtual power plant (VPP) technology, announced the launch of sonnenConnect, California’s most advanced consumer battery program to date. The groundbreaking grid-interactive model combines smart sonnen batteries with proven sonnenVPP software to progress the California energy transition by encouraging customers to use their energy storage systems for more than just backup power through participation in the wholesale energy market. 

sonnenConnect will be launched in partnership with Baker Electric Home Energy as part of their PowerOn Battery Program. Customer enrollment is already underway, with Baker aiming to install 1.5MWh of new capacity in 2022 and rapidly scale to 15 MWh in 2023, 25 MWh in 2024, and 35 MWh in 2025. In total, Baker plans to install 75 MWh of new capacity across more than 5,000 customer households by the end of 2025. 

sonnenConnect will operate in the semi deregulated California Independent System Operator (CAISO) market. sonnen and Baker will offer Southern Californians a pathway to maximizing the value of solar + storage and introduce a long-overdue channel for energy market participation for behind-the-meter residential energy storage resources. The program features several benefits for battery owners and society’s power grid: 

  • Reduced electricity bills - sonnen will proactively and professionally manage batteries enrolled in the sonnenConnect program by time shifting local stored solar against peak demand periods in response to price signals embedded in time of use rates to minimize customer’s electricity bills. 
  • Cash rewards for grid services - The program features sonnen battery participation in a variety of dynamic grid service markets, producing monthly cash payments for enrolled customers, while helping to decongest and decarbonize California’s energy grid. 
  • Resiliency for California - Each sonnenConnect battery contributes to the stabilization of the greater California energy grid by reliably shedding load when the grid is overloaded, helping to mitigate power outages, in addition to providing backup power for individual homes. Therefore, sonnenConnect equates to greater resiliency for both the home and for society’s greater energy system. 

sonnenConnect will lead to greater grid integration, rather than grid defection, while helping decongest and decarbonize California’s power grid on a daily basis. The unique combination of proactive bill management and grid services compensation effectively offers a sustainable alternative to net energy metering (NEM) while supporting the broader energy transition in a way solar alone cannot. 

The impact of grid-interactive smart batteries has already been demonstrated with the transformation of 

ES Solar’s business using the innovative Wattsmart Program developed by Rocky Mountain Power with sonnen in Utah and Idaho. sonnen and Baker Electric Home Energy believe the easily replicable sonnenConnect model is critical to transforming the solar industry in California help accelerate the energy transition nationwide. With plans for future expansion, sonnenConnect will go beyond NEM to maximize the benefits of renewables for customers and the greater energy system. 

“We are honored to launch sonnenConnect California in partnership with Baker Electric Home Energy’s PowerOn Program. Baker Electric Home Energy is an industry leading solar contractor, with a reputation for quality, customer service and pioneering new technologies,” said Blake Richetta, Chairman and CEO of sonnen, Inc. “With the Baker team’s dedicated initiative to bring this innovation to California’s consumers, I am confident that we will reach the necessary scale of smart, grid interactive batteries in California required to make rolling blackout alerts, like those that we recently experienced, a worry of the past.” 

“By leading with the PowerOn Battery Program, energized by sonnenConnect, Baker Electric Home Energy is changing the way solar is sold in California,” said Mike Teresso, President at Baker Electric Home Energy. “We see smart batteries as the heart of a clean energy future and sonnen’s capabilities give us the potential to revolutionize how rooftop PV is sold and utilized in California. sonnenConnect allows us to offer our solar plus battery customers the ultimate combination of lower electric bills, access to backup power resiliency, and ongoing compensation for grid services that offers an alternative to net-metering.” 

The sonnenConnect smart battery grid-interactive model prioritizes the health of the grid and rewards end customers for actively supporting the grid, representing a significant milestone for California’s solar industry and establishing a scalable model for the next era of renewable energy growth in the state and beyond. 

sonnen | https://sonnenusa.com/en/

Baker Electric Home Energy | https://bakerhomeenergy.com