Monday, November 13, 2023
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Linking Equitable Connections: Exploring the Intersection of Energy Justice and Virtual Power Plants
Session ID
D3 - Overarching Lessons for Energy Equity
Equity & Empowerment
Brittany Speetles

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Order 2222, issued in September 2020, removes barriers for distributed energy resources (DERs) to participate in wholesale energy markets by allowing DERs to aggregate and participate in wholesale markets as a single entity, known as a virtual power plant (VPP). VPPs can provide grid services including peak shaving, frequency regulation, and demand response to help balance the grid and to improve the reliability of power systems. They can also increase customer energy access and engagement, while lowering electricity bills through demand response programs. The VPP market has the potential to advance energy justice (EJ) objectives, but to do so, EJ must be prioritized from the start of design, and inequities must be anticipated along the way. This research is focused on the mix of policy levers, business models, and technologies that may support all facets of energy justice including procedural, distributional, recognitional, and restorative justice. Through an initial analysis of real-world VPP programs and pilots, several proven VPP applications were identified and grouped by their ability to have quantitatively measurable or monetized benefits. The mix of these potential benefits are explored in detail for a number current and potential VPP applications through techniques such as revenue value stacking. Blending business model and EJ analysis, we demonstrate applications of VPPs that are particularly impactful for underserved communities, investigate the behavioral, financial, geographical, size-based, and technology-based differences that make programs targeted towards underserved communities unique, investigate pathways to monetizing social and environmental benefits of strategic VPP deployment, and consider policy levers which lead to positive EJ impacts of VPP program design.

Supporting Document 1