Batteries Plus, Swell Energy increase access to solar benefits in Sacramento, Calif.


Batteries Plus has launched a new pilot initiative with Swell Energy to provide an in-store home battery backup offer in Sacramento, California. This joint initiative will showcase residential battery solutions and Swell’s virtual power plant (VPP) capabilities at four Sacramento area Batteries Plus retail locations, providing customers with convenient in-person opportunities to learn more about powering their homes with solar and home batteries, as well as VPP programs designed to save them money on their utility bills. 

As a franchise and family-owned Sacramento business, the participating Batteries Plus stores are committed to increasing access to renewable energy and home battery solutions for local residents and communities. Eligible customers will have the opportunity to enroll in the Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s (SMUD) new My Energy Optimizer Partner+ program — a residential customer-driven VPP initiative that SMUD and Swell are developing. This program will help deliver on SMUD’s comprehensive 2030 Zero Carbon Plan to eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions from its power supply by 2030, the boldest carbon reduction goal of any large utility in the United States.

Through VPP technology, customers’ solar and battery storage systems are aggregated and this renewable energy can be dispatched to communities, resulting in a more renewable and resilient electric grid.

“Providing Sacramento homeowners with the resources and expertise they need to enhance energy resilience is at the heart of our mission,” said Ryan Tollefson, owner of the Batteries Plus franchises in Sacramento, whose father first opened the company’s first store in Citrus Heights, California, in 1996, which has since expanded with Tollefson owning and operating multiple stores. “We’re thrilled to play a key role in promoting the adoption of home battery storage and virtual power plant participation while also bolstering Sacramento’s skilled workforce of local solar and storage installers and contributing to our community’s sustainable growth.”

The participating Batteries Plus stores are long-standing pillars in the Sacramento community. In addition to providing consumers with energy solutions, this initiative will also power up the local economy, driving jobs for local solar and storage installation experts across the Sacramento market. 

The popularity of home battery systems has skyrocketed in recent years, especially in California markets, which are prone to wildfires, heat waves and other natural disasters that can impact the power grid. These batteries allow consumers to generate, store and share energy, enhancing energy security during critical times.

“Our collaboration enables a wider audience to unlock their homes’ energy potential through solar and energy storage by extending VPP opportunities that enhance value for both utilities and consumers,” said Suleman Khan, CEO of Swell Energy.

Considered a valuable resource for the power grid, VPPs aggregate residential solar and battery storage systems in a centralized manner to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality. Participating in VPP programs enables customers to receive ongoing compensation, or GridRevenue, based on the capacity of their solar and energy storage systems.

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