Virtual Peaker and Enel X Partner to Provide Smart Home Energy Solutions
Louisville, KY, and Boston, MA – Virtual Peaker, a leading cloud-based energy management platform, has partnered with Enel X, the Enel Group’s advanced energy services business line, to offer smart home energy solutions to utilities and their customers from coast to coast. The Virtual Peaker and Enel X teams have signed multi-device agreements to provide software and energy services for two innovative public utilities, Snohomish County PUD (SnoPUD) and Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWEC).
“Software plays a critical and increasingly urgent role in transforming how we as a society consume energy while preserving precious natural resources,” said William (Bill) Burke, Virtual Peaker founder, and CEO. “Virtual Peaker is thrilled to partner with Enel X, a global leader committed to delivering energy solutions that meet at the crossroads of sustainability, digitalization, and innovation.”
The new partnership will support SnoPUD, the second-largest publicly owned utility in Washington State, with JuiceBox smart EV charging stations from Enel X and smart thermostat programs from Virtual Peaker that incentivize customers to adapt their behavior or employ innovative home technology to shift energy usage. Known as “FlexEnergy,” SnoPUD’s program pilots will use the fixed-rate design so customers can realize savings when they change their behavior or use new technology. By incorporating demand response, customers can lower their energy bills and save money, with fixed-peak pricing that encourages them to reduce energy usage at times designated by SnoPUD, such as when energy demand is high.
For MMWEC, Virtual Peaker and Enel X will collaborate on systems designed to provide flexible demand response solutions through JuiceBox smart charging stations as well as smart water heaters, batteries, and thermostats. MMWEC’s “Connected Homes” program makes it easier for residential customers of MMWEC’s municipal light plant (MLP) members across Massachusetts to connect their smart appliances and devices. Participating customers agree to brief, limited adjustments (e.g., temporarily reducing EV charging during peak hours) in exchange for a rebate check or bill credit, providing a way for them to save money while reducing their impact on the environment.
“Across North America, we are seeing the broad effects of the climate crisis, from wildfires and drought in California to record-breaking heat throughout the Pacific Northwest. As these extreme weather events become more common, the need for intelligent energy solutions that deliver environmental and economic impact is critical,” said Giovanni Bertolino, Head of e-Mobility, Enel X North America. “Through our partnership with Virtual Peaker, we’re able to deliver smart charging solutions to new markets, benefiting the utilities and their customers.”
Through the partnership, utility customers will have access to Enel X JuiceBox smart charging stations, powered by JuiceNet software, providing the customers with a cost-effective, grid-connected charging solution and enabling the utility to support broader adoption of EVs and manage peak electricity demands. The JuiceNet platform monitors drivers’ historical charging patterns, acquires real-time input and signals from the electric grid to aggregate and manage charging station demand, allowing EV drivers to contribute by charging at times when electricity costs are lower and renewable energy is most available.
In California, Enel X, through its aggregated of enrolled smart EV chargers, manages a roughly 70 MW highly distributed Virtual Power Plant (VPP). The VPP is active in the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) wholesale day-ahead and real-time markets, dynamically managing charging loads to balance grid demand, reduce wholesale energy costs, and mitigate the intermittency of renewables.