Innovation Is for Every Utility

Huge strides in energy storage, peak management, and smart grid technological innovation are all around us. And often, small rural electric coops and municipal utilities are leading the way.

The Smart Electric Power Alliance’s (SEPA) 2019 Top 10 utility awards for solar and energy storage – most megawatts added, and watts per customer added – included four electric coops, with a number of munis also in the mix.

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association shared the results last month, touting the winning coops.

Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative (Lihue, Hawaii) landed at the top of the list of utilities for adding the most watt-hours of energy storage per customer (3,000), more than six times that of its closest competitor. The addition of a new solar-plus-storage facility, combined with its Tesla facility, allows the Hawaiian coop to meet 40% of peak evening demand with stored solar power.

The coops ranking in the top 10 for energy storage among utilities that added the most annual megawatt-hours included Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative, Connexus Energy (Ramsey, Minnesota), and United Power Inc. (Brighton, Colorado).

Virtual Peaker salutes these and so many other outstanding coops, showing that innovation can happen at any utility – no matter the size or structure. Adaptation and innovation in renewable energy, battery storage, and so many other categories happen when organizations take a consumer-centric approach. And those organizations that have been the most successful are working closely with their communities to find flexible, sustainable solutions that meet their customers’ needs. Virtual Peaker is excited to work with and support innovative utilities of all sizes.

And for those who want to discover how their organization can become even more innovative, join Virtual Peaker in Louisville on October 22-23 for our second annual Innovation Forum. We’re bringing together utility experts, policy specialists, program implementers, and energy buffs from every corner of the country to discuss the future of the energy industry.

Please contact us ( with any logistical questions. We hope to see you there!

Virtual Peaker is a cloud-based Distributed Energy Management System (DERMS) that connects to in-home smart devices such as water heaters, EV chargers, and thermostats to allow utilities to run residential demand response programs, develop new revenue streams, and exceed their customer engagement goals. Virtual Peaker can integrate new devices in weeks instead of months using our API and other open standards without the installation of any additional hardware in the home. Virtual Peaker hopes to help innovative utilities maximize operational efficiency and usher in the age of renewable energy.

About The Author
Jeff Quigley blog author

Jeff is the VP of Sales for Virtual Peaker. He has spent his entire career in energy and data analytics where he has led teams working with utilities, government agencies, oil and gas companies, and financial institutions to help drive growth strategy and manage energy transition. He has worked with a team of analysts in developing an integrated resource plan (IRP) for a major U.S. vertically integrated utility, with a focus on load forecasting, locational marginal pricing (LMP) prediction, and long-term grid reliability. He has also managed the development of marketing and growth strategy for one of the four largest global oil and gas firms with a focus on the long-term viability of the Asian market-entry strategy.

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