WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
Virtual power plants are the future of power plants, and the oil majors are circling the sector and buying up startups …
In the aim to “decarbonise real estate” energy giant BP has bought US startup Blueprint Power, whose technology can help turn commercial buildings into “Virtual Power Plants” or VPP’s. And, if you’re wondering what a VPP is then put simply it’s a digital platform that aggregates together all of the individual renewable energy sources into one virtual system. In fact, VPP’s are literally the future of power plants which is why, for example, California a while ago opted to create one rather than build three new coal fired power stations. And even Elon Musk and Tesla are getting in on the act and helping California create VPP’s.
In the case of Blueprint’s VPP’s the company uses bespoke algorithms to optimise the energy efficiency of buildings and connect them to power markets, using the buildings as flexible power assets to generate, store, and trade renewable energy.
Commercial building owners will be able to sell surplus energy stored in batteries or power generated onsite from technologies such as solar panels.
Blueprint Power currently works with five of New York’s largest commercial real estate owners that together own more than 100 million square feet of property in the city and generate 13MW of renewable energy, and not only does the partnership mean the state needs to build far fewer real power plants, but it gives building owners a new income stream aswell which is nothing less than a win win.
The company, which will join the BP Launchpad portfolio, will work with the energy giant to increase this to 36MW by the end of 2022.
Sam Skerry, SVP BP Launchpad & Ventures said: “Decarbonising dense urban areas is a key challenge as we work to play our part in realizing a net zero world. Blueprint’s technology can help deliver this critical transformation. It can help secure access to renewable energy and importantly, also create new business opportunities for many sectors. This is exactly the type of company BP wants to scale and scale fast through our bp Launchpad accelerator.”
Blueprint’s technology can help decarbonise commercial real estate and help owners meet their environmental goals while giving them access to new revenue streams.
Robyn Beavers, Blueprint’s Founder and CEO added: “Buildings hold huge untapped potential to improve energy resilience in an increasingly unpredictable world and to decarbonise our built environment. The time to grow and affect real change is now and as a BP Launchpad company,we will have the partnerships and opportunities to help buildings make a positive contribution to the energy transition.”