Rocky Mountain Power to retrofit residential rooftop solar systems with smart sonnen batteries

Published on October 26, 2021 by Chris Galford

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Earlier this month, Rocky Mountain Power proposed adding a sonnen battery to thousands of existing rooftop solar systems in Utah as a means of adding smart residential energy storage and creating a swath of firm dispatchable grid assets from intermittent producers.

“The path to a sustainable energy future requires the ability to integrate increasing amounts of renewables,” Bill Comeau, Rocky Mountain Power vice president of customer experience, said. “Through this innovative partnership, our 50,000 customers with rooftop solar can now be part of the solution for a sustainable grid of the future for the benefit of all.”

sonnen, one of the global market leaders in smart residential energy storage, is collaborating with ES Solar, a leading Utah solar contractor, as part of their partnership with Rocky Mountain Power’s Wattsmart Battery program, which aspires to make a more collaborative grid. ES Solar created a new business model to meet this goal, guaranteeing rooftop solar systems would be equipped with batteries controlled by the local utility.

“Our evolution at ES Solar revolves around the idea that a smarter grid requires intelligent batteries paired with solar,” Nic Evans, vice president of Commercial at ES Solar, said. “We are committed to delivering customers solutions for a sustainable, dynamic renewable energy grid.”

Rocky Mountain Power will gain greater operation over the grid as many integration issues raised by stand-alone rooftop solar systems are addressed. It follows years of building and testing of a Battery Grid Management System by the company. The success of those tests led Rocky Mountain Power to launch Wattsmart earlier this year.

The collaborative work between the three companies has also made Rocky Mountain Power a finalist for the 2021 S&P Global Platts Grid Edge Award for pioneering efforts in the field.