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California Utilities Getting Creative with Surging Renewables

Utilities are using solar, batteries, linked by software, to create virtual power plants, revolutionizing the grid.

California’s utilities are reinventing the grid around renewables, batteries and cutting edge software.

These new approaches are dictated by fast-changing electricity economics, with solar power prices forcing wholesale electric prices to near zero during some daylight hours, reports the Wall Street Journal.

“California utilities including PG&E, Edison International and Sempra Energy are testing new ways to network solar panels, battery storage, two-way communication devices and software to create ‘virtual power plants’ that manage green power and feed it into the power grid as needed,” the Journal reported.

“We are rethinking the grid and how it operates,” said Steve Malnight, PG&E’s senior vice president of strategy and policy.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Steve Malnight and executives from Edison International and San Diego Gas Electric will be speaking about the changes in the utility business model tied to renewables at the Renewables Rush executive energy conference April 5 in San Francisco.

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