Canary Media – Housing developers and utilities join forces to create the next generation of microgrids

Sharing rooftop solar, batteries and grid controls between utilities and customers is a complex undertaking, but it could yield benefits greater than the sum of their parts.

Solar power, batteries and electric vehicle chargers are increasingly part of the new home landscape. So why not turn new housing developments into microgrids?

An array of technical and regulatory challenges must be solved for utilities and communities to share the costs and benefits of orchestrating these distributed energy resources as grid resources. But a number of pilot projects around North America are showing that the results can add up to more than the sum of their parts.

One example is Altona Towns, a development in the city of Pickering, Ontario. The 27-townhouse project, built by Marshall Homes, features Level 2 electric vehicle chargers at each home and two homes that have their own Tesla Powerwall batteries. But the community also shares a nearly 30-kilowatt rooftop solar system owned by the condo corporation managing the individually owned homes, and a 666-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery system that’s owned and controlled by municipal utility Elexicon.

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Canary Media

By Jeff St. John