VCharge, recognizing the energy storage potential of ETS, developed electronic controls for these heating systems that allow individual heaters or electric boilers to be switched on or off rapidly (within seconds) of the receipt of a control signal by VCharge’s Network Operations Center from the area’s grid operator, PJM Interconnect. The innovation started in the tidy development of Stones Throw in East Stroudsburg, where developers had installed identical ETS units in the 1980′s and ’90s, making it a perfect place to pilot VCharge’s technology. Now, over 40 Stones Throw homeowners, and nearly another 100 in the surrounding area, have installed free controls on their ETS heaters to participate in this radical experiment in grid storage and energy management–and to get a 25% discount on their home heating bills.

By itself, any individual heating system is relatively unremarkable. But together, the 134 homes in VCharge’s Aggregated Transactive Load Asset (ATLAS) create a huge resource for grid balancing–specifically providing ancillary services like fast frequency response through the markets run by PJM. This reservoir of capacity, both to cut load on the system (effectively generating negawatts) and to absorb rapid influxes of energy (for example from a sudden surge from a solar or wind farm) means that grid operators have a powerful new tool in their belts to deal with the coming demands of a shifting energy mix.

Heat Thermal Storage