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Turning homes into power plants with Sunrun

5 min read

Largest US home solar and storage installer Sunrun partners with Lunar Energy to operate thousands of batteries across a dozen virtual power plants (VPPs). 

We’re working with Sunrun on all of its VPP programs in the US, putting to work advanced software and applying deep international market experience to deliver grid services and scale up Sunrun’s VPPs across the country.

The Opportunity: A growing home battery VPP fleet

In early 2022, Sunrun was managing thousands of home batteries across the country, and it was in need of a sophisticated software platform that could optimize its ever-growing fleet made up of home batteries from several different manufacturers. Sunrun’s goal was to expand its virtual power plant (VPP) portfolio to support grid decarbonization and deliver critical grid services, while also generating value for the device owners without sacrificing their backup reserve.

Successfully implementing and managing a VPP is a complex task that requires the simultaneous coordination of multiple devices, including the ability to co-optimize the individual owner's bill savings, and potential grid services revenue, on a daily basis. These processes must be supported by robust systems and advanced technology solutions to ensure that all devices in the VPP are operating efficiently and effectively. 

That’s where Lunar Gridshare comes in.

The Lunar Solution: Scaling thousands of batteries across a dozen programs

Lunar Gridshare is a cloud-based, device-agnostic software platform that aggregates distributed energy resources (DER) into optimized VPP fleets that support the grid and maximize the value of energy for end users. With 59,000 DERs connected across Europe, Asia, and North America, Lunar Gridshare has a proven track record for delivering dynamic and responsive VPP solutions. 

The Lunar team hit the ground running by integrating thousands of Sunrun’s home batteries and their data into the Gridshare platform, where the AI-powered software can make device-specific predictions of energy availability. For VPPs, it’s critical to know how much energy could be used from the fleet at any moment. Gridshare evaluates past behavior and upcoming weather forecasts to generate machine learning (ML) predictions of household consumption, solar generation, and available energy for every device. That precision, at the device level, compounds at the fleet level delivering more energy into the VPP.  

We then worked closely with grid operators to enter Sunrun’s VPPs into multiple programs throughout the country to provide various flexibility and grid services. For example, in two programs run by Hawaiian Electric Company, Sunrun’s VPPs provide capacity and fast frequency response to help Hawaiian Electric manage grid reliability.

Thanks to Gridshare’s expert capabilities in both home energy management and VPP functionality, it uniquely co-optimizes the daily behavior of Sunrun’s batteries to maximize both owner bill savings and grid services revenue, while reserving enough state of charge to keep the lights on in the event of an outage. While most VPP management software operates at the fleet level, Gridshare manages fleets on the device level by employing a Home Energy Management System (HEMS) model that maps and evaluates value delivery for the device owner. This results in a highly responsive fleet that delivers the best value for energy market participation as well as customer needs.

The Results

In total, the Lunar team seamlessly and quickly onboarded a dozen grid service programs across ten states for Sunrun’s VPPs.

In one program - for Southern California Edison - Gridshare delivered 60% more energy from Sunrun's devices than previously possible, thanks to its highly accurate predictions of fleet energy availability and optimal dispatch of devices based on their efficiency curves.


The Gridshare platform continues to enable optimized VPP program participation through exceptional device management and performance. Last November, the Gridshare Performance Service Level and the Uptime Service Level for all active programs were both 100%, indicating that Sunrun’s VPPs had been responding to all requested energy demands with zero critical service errors.


Ready to Scale in 2023

After successfully integrating Sunrun’s batteries with 12 programs, the Lunar team is well-equipped to play a critical role in Sunrun’s long-term VPP growth. In fact, Gridshare’s data architecture is built for speed and scale; the platform’s device-level optimization can easily manage millions of devices. 

And with tens of thousands of Sunrun batteries forecast for deployment in 2023, we are excited to continue to enable Sunrun’s expanding VPP fleet to support a decarbonized, reliable grid and deliver meaningful value and savings to Sunrun’s customers.

"We are thrilled with the work of Lunar Gridshare. What Lunar Gridshare has been able to accomplish in managing multiple devices from several different manufacturers at the same time, is a game changer for us.

To build the grid of the future, it is so powerful to be able to flawlessly orchestrate all the various distributed energy technologies in our customers' homes. Gridshare also operates in Europe and Asia where energy markets are more advanced. They’ve seen the future of connected batteries on the grid, and they have a platform that’s ready for today,  and even more important, where the future of energy is going in the United States."

– Mary Powell, CEO of Sunrun

Key achievements

  • Manage all of Sunrun’s VPPs across the US
  • Onboarded VPPs into 9 utility programs
  • ~Improved multi-device VPP delivery
  • ~100% Performance Service Level
  • ~100% Uptime Service Level
  • Ready to scale to hundreds of thousands of DER in 2023
Lunar Gridshare dispatched 60% more energy than a competitor
Lunar Gridshare dispatched 60% more energy than a competitor
More energy from the same fleet due to detailed predictions and optimization for device-level efficiency curves.

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