Virtual Peaker to be Featured at Peak Load Management Alliance (PLMA) Leadership ConferenceVirtual Peaker

Posted May 3, 2023

May 2, 2023; Louisville, KY  – Virtual Peaker, the only end-to-end, self-service distributed energy resources (DER) management platform for utilities on the market today announced founder and CEO, Dr. William (Bill) Burke will be a featured speaker at the Peak Load Management Alliance (PLMA) Leadership Conference May 8–10, 2023 in Memphis, TN.

The 47th PLMA Conference will offer real-world insights into flexible load management, distributed energy resources (DERs) as grid resources, decarbonization, and EV grid impacts. Dr. Burke will discuss virtual power plants (VPPs) and the orchestration of DERs during a panel “Defining a Buzzword: Virtual Power Plants and the Orchestration of Distributed Energy Resources” on May 9. Adam Light, Sr. Solution Manager, Grid Products from Portland General Electric (PGE) will join Burke on the panel.

VPPs have the potential to offset or provide 14 percent of U.S. peak electric power demand in 2050, according to a recent report by RMI. By 2030, RMI predicts VPPs could reduce peak demand by 60 gigawatts (GW), cutting annual power sector expenditure by $17 billion through avoided generation build-out, decreased wholesale energy costs, and avoided or deferred transmission and distribution investments. “However, barriers related to wholesale market value, retail offerings, and consumer awareness must be addressed to unlock the full potential of VPPs,” the report states. Virtual Peaker is a founding member of RMI’s Virtual Power Plant Partnership (VP3) alongside companies like Google Nest, Ford, and SunPower.

The definition of VPPs remains somewhat ambiguous across the energy industry. The PLMA panelists will address questions and topics around use cases, control frameworks, and operational approaches for VPPs, and engage audience members to move toward a clearer definition.

“Utilities need a common language for discussing VPPs,” said Burke. “Definitions are perhaps the first obstacle we need to overcome. Right now, many people still aren’t exactly sure what a VPP is and exactly how it can be used.”

The PLMA session will focus on defining the three distinct parts of a VPP: DERs, aggregation, and grid integration along with operational control models for VPPs. Panelists will discuss how a VPP brings together an aggregation of hundreds or thousands of DER devices, distributed across a service territory at homes and businesses, to provide value to the grid via integrated control by grid operators. Use cases will include PGE’s plan to use VPPs to help achieve its decarbonization goals in step with the Paris Climate Accords and highlight the utility’s numerous retail VPPs established through demand-side programs for commercial and industrial (C&I) or residential customers.

To learn more here about VPPs: use cases, operational models, and the evolving market.

CLICK HERE to read the full press release.