Virtual Peaker Launches Real-Time Smart Device Arbitrage for Utilities

The solution represents the most advanced residential control on the market

As part of its rapidly growing suite of utility solutions, Virtual Peaker has launched real-time smart device arbitrage for residential smart devices as part of its Distributed Energy Resource Management (DERMS) offering. This approach to device control is the first of its kind among DERMS providers and complements the cloud-based real-time controller that already sets Virtual Peaker apart from its competitors.

“Our energy arbitrage module is a real game-changer,” says Bill Burke, CEO of Virtual Peaker. “This new approach gives utilities the ability to open up device control in a way that is going to change energy markets to benefit customers. It’s truly exciting.”

The ability to do smart device arbitrage builds on technology that is already differentiated from the competition. Virtual Peaker runs a real-time control system in the cloud, allowing each device to be optimized based on any number of different variables. This means that utilities can optimize devices not just on signals like the price but also the behavior of the customer. “This means that the utility can cut energy costs while making sure no one gets a cold shower,” says Burke.

Virtual Peaker’s approach to real-time control and smart device arbitrage is already being deployed in the dispatch of devices based on locational marginal pricing (LMP) in New England. Green Mountain Power (GMP) in Vermont, a leader in market innovation, is using Virtual Peaker’s technology to dispatch residential battery systems as part of its Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program to help drive down costs for all customers. Virtual Peaker is a GMP Inspire Space Contest Winner, selected in 2016 to help develop and deliver technology solutions for GMP customers.

“At Green Mountain Power, we are partnering with customers to transform our energy future to one that is home-, business-, and community-based, and drives down costs. This technology provides value for our customers and being able to dispatch these devices in real-time is key,” says Josh Castonguay, Vice President of Innovation at Green Mountain Power. “Using Virtual Peaker’s solution helps us all work together to reduce peak demand when people are using energy the most, which ultimately cuts costs for all.”

The flexibility of Virtual Peaker’s approach goes beyond price. The algorithm has been designed to dispatch smart devices based on any signal, which allows it to work in all types of utility markets. “The potential for this approach is enormous,” says Burke. “Price is just one example of a signal we can use to dispatch devices. Any signal, including load-following, can be used in our module. This is really just the beginning.”

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