Rocky Mountain Power expands its Wattsmart Battery Program into Idaho

Battery maker sonnen has partnered with ES Solar to expand utility Rocky Mountain Power’s Wattsmart Battery Program in Utah and Idaho. ES Solar is expected to bring up to 35 MWh of grid-interactive battery capacity online by 2022 through the Wattsmart program.

“We are honored to expand our relationship with sonnen by rapidly increasing the deployment of smart batteries within the Wattsmart program.” said Nic Evans, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at ES Solar. “Our team emphasizes the need for more than just rooftop solar to drive the clean energy transition and we want to do more than lead this transition, we want to empower other contractors to follow in our footsteps. This is now possible with our value-added distributor model and reproducible sales and marketing strategy. As we exceed our goals in Utah and expand into new markets, we are excited to continue our work with sonnen and Rocky Mountain Power. Through this progressive approach, we hope to elevate our beloved solar industry, ‘all boats will rise’.

Now moving beyond the proof-of-concept phase, ES Solar is experiencing exponential growth with more than 6 MWh of monthly sales of solar energy storage in Utah and Idaho attributed to the Wattsmart program. In recent years, Rocky Mountain Power has gradually discontinued its solar metering grant to shift its focus to replacing solar-only power with solar power + energy storage with the Wattsmart Battery Program. Through sonnen batteries installed by ES Solar, the companies are building probably the largest network of utility-shipped residential smart batteries in the United States — also known as a virtual power plant.

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission approved the Wattsmart program in April 2022, making Idaho the second state to embrace Wattsmart. As the first Utah contractor to implement the new business model, ES Solar has followed this expansion with the enrollment of Wattsmart customers in Idaho, supported by ES Solar’s new sales office in Idaho Falls. ES Solar currently has a 98% smart utility-controlled battery confirmation rate for new solar sales as part of the Wattsmart program. The company is on track for continued revenue growth with targets to install an estimated 1,500 additional customers by the end of 2022 and more than 5,000 by 2023. Additional local offices will be established to support high demand and rapid sales momentum. ES Solar is targeting existing solar owners, both within the customer base and externally, to equip homes with wattsmart registered batteries.

The Wattsmart program is growing rapidly every month, with more than 2,000 consumer batteries. With this fleet and Utah’s signature 600-unit VPP at Soleil Lofts, sonnen currently believes Rocky Mountain Power directly powers more residential batteries dynamically and on a daily basis than any other utility-driven consumer battery program in the country.

The ES Solar team is the first contractor to have access to the latest technology from sonnen, the stackable sonnenCore+ system, which ES launched in July 2022.

“The sonnen and ES Solar teams share a vision to meaningfully solve our growing energy challenges by creating a renewable electrical energy system for the future of society that is scalable and effective,” said Blake Richetta Chairman and CEO of suns. “As Rocky Mountain Power’s battery program grows, ES Solar manages to overcome the complex concepts and challenges associated with effectively integrating residential solar + storage into the wider energy system. As this radical model expands to thousands of new homes , so is the use of batteries for the betterment of individuals, society and the environment, which is the ultimate goal of a solar battery.”

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