In 2021, the Lancaster Advanced Energy Community Project team has developed a robust Virtual Power Plant (VPP) design – including multiple Community Microgrids -- designed to unlock energy savings and enhance resilience for the residential and commercial customers of the Lancaster Choice Energy CCA, with a special focus on Disadvantaged Community residents in new and existing affordable housing. In addition, the project team has worked with the City of Lancaster, and its partner affordable housing developer BRIDGE, to design a network of nanogrids that will be deployed alongside the construction of 153 affordable townhomes in a new ZNE subdivision. Each affordable townhome will include solar, energy storage, and smart devices that will be responsive to signals from an open-source ADR 2.0b compliant Distributed Energy Resource Management System (DERMS) to shape and shift loads in response to grid, carbon, and economic signals. In 2022, the project team will be supporting final design for the energy assets, and the financing of community microgrids in Lancaster’s downtown Green District that link with the territory-wide VPP. Microgrids will focus on community facilities such as the Fire Station, Sheriffs’ Station, the Lancaster Public Library, and two multi-family affordable housing sites.
This project will deploy energy storage and microgrids at sites throughout Lancaster and integrate these DERs into a first-of-its-kind Virtual Power Plant (VPP). The project will demonstrate the power of local renewables, storage, and flexible load to balance the local grid, mitigate the duck curve, and provide valuable new grid services. These shovel-ready projects include two master-metered, ZNE affordable housing developments that island as microgrids. Renewable microgrids will be deployed at three Lancaster city schools, allowing these schools to provide critical services and act as shelters in an emergency. In addition, 3 MWh of energy storage will be deployed at commercial sites throughout Lancaster via the Lancaster Green District program, which will demonstrate an innovative public-private partnership model. All of these resources will be integrated into the Lancaster VPP, which will enable optimized performance of 5 MW of solar PV and 10 MWh of energy storage. The Lancaster VPP will demonstrate how local load-serving entities can help mitigate the problem of solar over-generation and intermittency with economic DER solutions.
These developments will utilize an innovative stationary storage business model that minimizes up-front capital costs through a shared savings model.
As Lancaster increases its reliance on distributed solar PV as a base load resource, the battery storage deployments and integration with the VPP will increase grid reliability and substantially mitigate reliability issues
Lancaster is located directly over the San Andreas fault at the end of a long feeder line, which creates exceptional risk of long-term outages in the event of an earthquake, fire, or other emergency.