"Home Energy Devices Hold Untapped Potential for Strained Grids"

"This summer, as a historic heat wave strained Texas’ electrical grid and hiked power prices, Scott Stambush’s electricity bill went negative.

His four Tesla PowerWall battery chargers and 48 rooftop solar panels supplied the grid during times of peak demand, earning him revenue that amounted to a $649.71 credit on his monthly bill ending Sept. 12. The Sugar Land, Texas, resident said he wasn’t motivated by environmental causes. He just wanted to keep his lights on, and saving money was an added perk.

“I don’t think much about climate change and all that,” Stambush said. “I’m big on defending my home and defending my country, and energy independence does both.”

Those eye-popping savings and the potential grid reliability benefits are at the center of a debate over consumer-owned energy devices. Stambush was part of a pilot program in Texas supported by the Energy Department to test out virtual power plants—the bundling of hundreds or thousands of connected, controllable devices such as water heaters, thermostats, refrigerators, electric vehicles, and residential batteries into something matching the scale of a power plant."

Daniel Moore reports for Bloomberg Environment October 13, 2023.

Source: Bloomberg Environment, 10/17/2023