Many parts of the US experiencing prolonged heat waves could face the risk of electricity supply shortages. While generation projects can help to address this challenge, those projects are delayed by a multi-year approval process to connect to the power grid.

In an opinion piece written for Utility Dive, Brattle Principal Ryan Hledik, Associate Kala Viswanathan, and Senior Research Analyst Kate Peters discuss the novel role that virtual power plants (VPPs) can have in overcoming these challenges and addressing resource adequacy needs. VPPs are portfolios of distributed energy resources – such as smart thermostats and water heaters, electric vehicles, and rooftop solar – controlled by utilities and energy service providers to provide high-value services to the power system. Drawing on findings from a recent Brattle report, the authors discuss the benefits of VPPs, including their ability to rapidly scale and the fact that they are not subject to interconnection queue delays that limit the deployment of larger-scale resources. The authors conclude with several actionable recommendations for quickly deploying VPPs at scale.

The full article, “Virtual Power Plants: Resource Adequacy Without Interconnection Delays,” is available below.

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