The hottest building amenity from developers? A virtual power plant made of batteries

Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

By Patrick Sission | New York Times

Soleil Lofts, an apartment development in suburban Salt Lake City, offers a lot of amenities — pools, three spas, a basketball court, electric appliances, a dog park — to lure potential residents.

But the feature that sealed the deal for Maik Kannenberg, a sales representative for a local tech firm, was a sleek, silent device: an energy storage battery.

Kannenberg’s home, like every apartment in the $156 million, 600-unit complex, includes a new ecoLinx battery made by the German company Sonnen. Charged via rooftop solar panels, these cells, roughly the size of a water heater, collectively form what’s called a virtual power plant. The system not only provides 12.6 megawatt-hours of backup power for the building, it also makes better use of the renewable power generated on site.


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