Emergency Load Reduction Program Utilizes PowerFlex’s Onsite Energy Solutions to Help California Avoid Blackouts During Extreme Weather Events

During Labor Day weekend and the following week, PowerFlex’s virtual power plant—including solar, energy storage, and electric vehicle (EV) charging stations—responded to emergency grid events caused by an extreme heat wave in California. Through the Emergency Load Reduction Program (ELRP), a demand response program managed by the three investor-owned utilities in California to pay for voluntary load reduction during grid emergencies, local energy consumers helped avoid rotating blackouts and kept the grid strong, even when demand reached an all-time CAISO load record of 52,161 MWs. One of the participating sites included the University of California, San Diego, campus, where PowerFlex managed nearly 100 EV chargers to reduce charging demand during emergency events on August 31, September 1, and September 3-9.

The ELRP was created in response to Governor Gavin Newson’s 2021 State of Emergency Proclamation to help alleviate grid strain. In the case of an emergency event, alerts are sent to electricity consumers the day-ahead or day-of so that participants can reduce load or generate additional energy on site to send back to the grid. PowerFlex’s clients across California are equipped with reliable onsite energy solutions that not only make their sites more sustainable, but can now also support the state’s energy resilience through the ELRP.

PowerFlex-managed projects earn $2/kWh of incremental load reduced during the ELRP events, and all PowerFlex-operated backup battery generation was charged from 100% solar. This recent emergency event demonstrated how the ELRP enables consumer-owned clean energy resources to take the place of dirtier, less efficient powerplants to stabilize the California grid.

Additionally, PowerFlex’s proprietary Adaptive Load Management software alleviates grid strain even more by intelligently balancing the energy draw across a network of EV chargers to ensure that less power flows out when grid stress is high. If a site hosts multiple clean energy technologies (e.g. solar, energy storage, and EV chargers), clients can co-optimize all assets with PowerFlex X, a comprehensive platform that provides real-time insights and intelligent control over the onsite energy systems.

With extreme hot weather, wildfires, and windstorms occurring at an unprecedented rate, it is more important than ever to seek solutions that support the state’s energy infrastructure for increased resiliency and dependability. To learn how your site can participate in the ELRP, contact PowerFlex today.

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