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Sunrun’s ‘PowerOn Puerto Rico’ Virtual Power Plant Helps Island Avoid Rolling Blackouts

SAN FRANCISCO, May 01, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sunrun (Nasdaq: RUN), the nation’s leading provider of clean energy as a subscription service, has now enrolled nearly 1,800 customers—totaling more than 2,000 batteries—in its PowerOn Puerto Rico virtual power plant. The program has been supplying dependable energy from solar-plus-storage systems to the island’s energy grid since last fall. Sunrun is the largest participant in Puerto Rico’s Battery Emergency Demand Response Program and will soon be the first aggregator to compensate customers for their participation.

“After experiencing frequent and extended power outages, I added solar and batteries to my home with Sunrun and was happy to get rid of the noisy, polluting generator,” said San Juan resident Kristoffer Koster. “We also want to be part of the larger solution for our friends and neighbors, which is why we quickly signed up for PowerOn Puerto Rico.”

When Puerto Rico’s electric utility provider, LUMA, foresees a power supply shortfall, Sunrun’s battery fleet simultaneously dispatches the stored solar energy from enrolled customers’ batteries to stabilize the grid. Sunrun's fleet of batteries provides more than 15 megawatt hours of energy to support LUMA's grid while still reserving 40%, on average, of the storage capacity for personal backup at each customer's home.

“The resilience of the people of Puerto Rico is truly remarkable. They consistently step up to help their community by sharing their stored solar energy and improving energy reliability for everyone,” said Sunrun CEO Mary Powell. “LUMA has already called upon Sunrun a dozen times since last fall to activate our virtual power plant, with several of those being emergency events—meaning outages were imminent. It’s incredible to be part of a program that’s making an immediate positive impact.”

After several years of development, Sunrun partnered with LUMA at the end of September and quickly began enrolling customers in PowerOn Puerto Rico. Sunrun customers are compensated for their participation while the energy they share helps avoid blackouts and the use of polluting, fossil fuel peaker power plants.

Puerto Rico has been plagued with ongoing shortfalls in power generation. LUMA’s battery program creates a customer-led solution to help the utility better match energy supply with demand. After Hurricane Maria dismantled the island’s centralized electric grid in 2017, Puerto Rico moved to build a more distributed and resilient energy system that empowers residents to generate their own clean energy. A key program supporting that goal is net energy metering, which was recently extended by Puerto Rico’s legislature and governor so that households can continue to receive credit for the energy they export to the grid.

Sunrun and LUMA expect that there will be between 50 and 125 events per year that will require Sunrun’s fleet of enrolled systems to provide on-demand energy. Individual customers will be compensated for each power-sharing event. Even if there are only 75 events, which is on the lower-end of what the grid operator anticipates, Sunrun customers would earn an average of $550 and Sunrun will earn fees for managing the participation. If there are more events, Sunrun customers will earn even more.

“We want to give back to the community,” Koster said. “That’s the spirit of Puerto Rico—taking care of each other. This program allows us to take ownership and be caretakers of the grid.”

“Sunrun customers’ batteries create a power plant that helps keep the lights on for all Puerto Ricans without polluting or requiring land and years of costly construction,” said Chris Rauscher, Sunrun’s Head of Grid Services. “Sunrun has a proven track record of successfully operating virtual power plants across the country that have repeatedly shown that residential solar-plus-storage is a dependable resource that can be quickly aggregated to meet increasing energy demands and keep utility costs down for all ratepayers.”

With the North American Electric Reliability Corporation warning that a growing number of areas face resource capacity or energy risks over the next decade, Sunrun’s virtual power plant programs—like PowerOn Puerto Rico—are aimed at helping utilities match power production with increasing customer demand in order to prevent rolling blackouts.

About Sunrun
Sunrun Inc. (Nasdaq: RUN) revolutionized the solar industry in 2007 by removing financial barriers and democratizing access to locally-generated, renewable energy. Today, Sunrun is the nation’s leading provider of clean energy as a subscription service, offering residential solar and storage with no upfront costs. Sunrun’s innovative products and solutions can connect homes to the cleanest energy on earth, providing them with energy security, predictability, and peace of mind. Sunrun also manages energy services that benefit communities, utilities, and the electric grid while enhancing customer value. Discover more at

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