News: Update on virtual power plant under “construction” in Virginia

Here’s the latest about a plan underway in Virginia to build a virtual power plant, the most read story on in 2013.

The Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP), a non-profit energy services company based in Charlottesville, VA, has structured an innovative way to launch the virtual or ‘community’ power plant through a utility partnership.

A conventional power plant fills a need for energy by generating electricity. In contrast, a virtual power plant meets the need by saving energy. So if a region needs 100 MW, the virtual power plant would install energy efficiency measures in homes or businesses until the need for the 100 MW no longer exists.

Virtual power plants face a couple of roadblocks. First, how do you convince building owners to save energy? And second, how do you fund the effort?

LEAP has now completed energy efficiency work in about 900 homes under an interesting model that leverages its non-profit status and taps into an existing utility program.

Read the full story. (Energy Efficiency Markets)