VPP’s are being herald as a panacea for a variety of grid issues. In reality, VPP’s are basically just an aggregation of demand response assets. Same game, new name and somewhat larger reach and sophistication. With the advent of smart thermostats and other IoT controlled systems, it is now easier and more efficient to aggregate a much larger quantity of disparate asset types. This certainly helps stabilize the grid as more intermittent renewables come on-line. However, a VPP will not provide resiliency for the vast majority of power outages.

The biggest cause of outages is extreme weather due to climate change. Seventy eight percent (78%) of outages are caused by downed wires as the result of weather. If the wires to your facility are no longer connected, a VPP isn’t going to help you. You need backup power.

Climate change and extreme weather is accelerating faster than our decarbonization efforts. What we know is that things are going to get worse before they get better. (better is a very long way off). VPPs are valuable and helpful, but not a source for resiliency. You need to take that responsibility yourself.