$130M Project Bringing sonnen Energy to 3,000 MDU Homes

Wasatch Energy Group and sonnen partner on outfitting California apartments with ‘virtual power plant’ solar and intelligent battery energy storage solutions.


Energy provider sonnen and Wasatch Energy Group have announced a series of residential virtual power plant (VPP) projects in California.

The Wasatch California VPP Fleet I and II will outfit roughly 3,000 residential apartment homes with solar generation and sonnen intelligent battery energy storage, which will make it the largest MDU-based VPP fleet in the world upon its 2021 completion, the company says.

$130M Funding Fuels sonnen & Wasatch Energy Group Project

The project boasts over 60MWh of energy storage capacity and over 24MW of power capacity, and will be funded by $130M in capital from Wasatch and external investors.

In total, the Wasatch California VPP Fleet I and II will include seven Wasatch Premier Communities, located throughout California.

The first solar-and-storage retrofit work begins in September 2020 at the 417-unit Heron Pointe apartment community in Fresno with Soleil Energy, the new engineering, procurement and construction company established by the Wasatch Group, for its ongoing VPP installations.

The Wasatch California VPP fleets will all feature sonnen ecoLinx intelligent battery storage systems. Individual sonnen systems within each community will be capable of communicating with each other as a single intelligent battery asset, harmonizing and optimizing the community’s solar production, grid usage, and individual apartment loads.

VPP projects are also built for participation in the California demand response market and other grid services. The VPP fleets will ensure resiliency for every resident of the community by providing access to the onsite solar energy and batteries, which act as constantly-regenerating, clean, and reliable energy supply, the company explains.

Utah Group Pioneering Clean Residential Energy Efforts

The sonnen ecoLinx battery used in this project serves as the cornerstone of the US sonnenCommunity VPP platform. The system is purpose-built for performance as an ultra-long-lasting grid asset and as the home-automation nucleus of the residential energy system, according to the company.

“We should create sustainable living for today and the future,” says Dell Loy Hansen, founder of the Wasatch Group, a conglomerate of Utah-based companies that includes the Wasatch Energy Group. “We believe it’s our responsibility now, and we can make a difference with this revolutionary approach to clean, renewable energy systems that work brilliantly for everyone involved.”

sonnen ecoLinx battery virtual power plant
The ecoLinx battery is at the heart of the sonnen solution.

Ryan Peterson, president and managing partner of Wasatch Energy Group, adds, “This has been an unbelievable journey and one of the most complicated projects I’ve worked on. However, we are committed to solving energy issues across the country, using clean, renewable and reliable energy systems in partnership. We believe in it for everyone and that’s why we’ve made it this far. We can’t wait to show the world what we’ve created.”

The Wasatch Group and sonnen previously partnered with the local utility Rocky Mountain Power to develop the Soleil Lofts VPP, a 600-unit solar and storage-equipped apartment community in Herriman, Utah, which is now being utilized for utility grid management by Rocky Mountain Power.

“It has been an honor to partner with the Wasatch Energy Group and now Soleil Energy, to help develop these truly extraordinary projects,” said Blake Richetta, chairman and CEO of sonnen, Inc. USA. “These projects are the result of two years of hard work, planning and dedication to the mission of building a cleaner, more reliable and secure energy future for humanity.”