Disruptor of the Year: Sunrun

Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents Sunrun

The solar and storage developer has been pioneering new business models to increase aggregation of distributed resources.

By Iulia Gheorghiu | Utility Drive

2019 has been a huge year of firsts for the distributed resource industry: It saw the first aggregated solar and storage systems to win a bid in the wholesale market (in ISO-New England) and the first utility to reward homeowners for letting their battery systems be used for frequency services (in Hawaiian Electric Company territory).

Both of those projects involve Sunrun, and it’s not a surprise.

The developer has been working to identify as many different types of partnerships and revenue streams from aggregated DER as possible. Oftentimes, Sunrun is focused on making space for itself and other solar developers in the ongoing grid transformation to ensure that DERs can compete against traditional generation.

“These rules are really written for power plants, and so how do we alter them so that customer-sided resources can participate?” Audrey Lee, Sunrun’s energy services vice president, told Utility Dive. “The ISO New England market is like a 30 GW market, there’s plenty of room for distributed resources … It’s more about changing the market rules.”

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