Largest VPP Fleet to Be Deployed in California

The project consists of more than 60 megawatt-hours of energy storage capacity and more than 24 megawatts of power capacity deployed at seven Wasatch Premier Communities.
Heron Pointe

Utah-headquartered Wasatch Energy Group and sonnen, a German manufacturer of solar batteries, have joined forces in a project that will outfit some 3,000 multifamily units with solar generation systems and sonnen intelligent battery energy storage. After two years of planning, the companies will deploy residential virtual power plants throughout California in what is set to become the largest apartment-community-based VPP fleet in the world.

The Wasatch California VPP Fleet I and II include seven Wasatch Premier Communities and the Wasatch Group selected Soleil Energy for its ongoing VPP deployments. Overall, the project comprises more than 60 megawatt-hours of energy storage capacity and more than 24 megawatts of power capacity and will be funded by $130 million from Wasatch and external investors. The project’s completion is slated for 2021.

The first property to benefit from the solar plus storage retrofit work is the 417-unit Heron Pointe in Fresno, Calif., and work is slated to begin in September. Heron Pointe is a 94-building property spread out across more than 29 acres at 5200 North Valentine Ave., completed in 1987. According to Yardi Matrix data, the asset has been under Wasatch’s ownership since 1998 when it had acquired it from Siroonian Properties for almost $25 million.

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All Wasatch California VPP fleets will feature sonnen ecoLinx intelligent battery storage systems, and individual sonnen systems within each community will have the ability to communicate with each other as a single intelligent battery asset, optimizing the community’s solar production, grid usage and individual apartment loads. Actually, the VPP projects are built for participation in the California demand response market and other grid services.

This is not the first project of its kind the partnership has worked on—previously, the two companies collaborated with Rocky Mountain Power to develop the all-electric Soleil Lofts VPP, a 600-unit community in Utah that features onsite energy storage in each unit.