It Takes a Mega-Village: New Residential VPP Company Launches

Mega-Village Residential VPP DER Google SIP

Virtual Power Plants (VPP) took another big step forward today with the launch of Renew Home, a new entity that says it’s the largest residential VPP in North America.

VPPs use an intelligent control system and bidirectional technology to aggregate energy from networked resources located at multiple sites, such as rooftop solar systems, batteries, electric vehicles (EVs) and other distributed energy resources (DERs).

The technology creates what is intended to be a flexible power network by bundling together what could be hundreds of discrete power sources into one that can be dispatched during times of peak demand, just like a traditional centralized power plant.

The VPP will include millions of homes

First announced in December 2023, Renew Home was created as a result of the merger of Google Nest’s Renew and OhmConnect, along with a $100 million investment from majority owner Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners (SIP).

Renew Home plans to manage energy use in millions of homes across the country by controlling more than a dozen different types of connected devices, including smart thermostats, heating and cooling systems and water heaters.

The aggregated energy will be harnessed to support the demand response and VPP programs of more than 100 utilities, supporting the grid and saving homeowners on their energy bills, according to a statement from the company.

“The marriage of Nest’s innovative approach to managing energy use in the home with OhmConnect’s customer-focused grid services platform will be transformational,” said Renew Home CEO Ben Brown. “With our industry-leading partners, Renew Home will be able to coordinate the home energy use of millions of customers to help catapult us into a 100% clean energy future.”

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