sonnen and Quext Energy Launch NuGenesis, a Multifamily Residential VirtualPower Plant Project in Texas’s ERCOT Market
- sonnen partners with Quext Energy and Madera Residential to bring its residential
energy storage virtual power plant business model to a deregulated market for the first
time in the United States.
- NuGenesis will provide tens of thousands of low-to-medium income apartment residents
with access to clean and reliable backup power without upfront costs.
- This project, a direct response to 2021’s Superstorm Uri, will bring scalable clean energy
and reliable backup power access to all Texans.
November 21, 2022 (Stone Mountain, GA) – sonnen, a global market leader in smart energy storage and virtual power plant (VPP) technology, today announced the launch of NuGenesis, a solar + battery VPP project available to low-to-median income multifamily residents within the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) energy market. The program represents a new beginning for the Texas energy system and is being launched in partnership with Quext Energy, a renewable energy-focused retail energy provider (REP), and Madera Residential, a multifamily community owner.
NuGenesis will be rolled out in multiple fleets across three phases. Phase one, fleet one breaks ground in Q2 of 2023, with a targeted completion date of June 2024 and consists of 1,200 solar + battery VPP nodes installed across six Madera multifamily communities in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area and one commercial facility in Lubbock. The first fleet represents 31.76 MWh of energy reservoir and 16.1 MW of dispatchable power for behind-the-meter loads and grid services, including grid injection. The goal of phase one is to complete installation on three fleets, targeting more than 17,000 homes and nearly 100 MWh of energy reservoir, by December 2025. Phase two is anticipated to be completed by December 2027 and details of phase three will be announced as phases one and two progress.
As a first-of-its-kind REP specializing in the deployment of behind-the-meter solar + battery VPP communities, Quext Energy will dynamically steer the NuGenesis sonnen battery fleet by way of sonnen’s proprietary software platform. By utilizing the sonnenVPP software, Quext will benefit from managing generation and load flexibility while providing a unique hedge against risk within the ERCOT market. The VPP will perform solar time shifting and grid load shifting with daily battery cycling, harmonizing grid operation by eliminating peak demand congestion through load shedding. NuGenesis will also be capable of providing ancillary services to the grid, including frequency response and spinning / non-spinning reserves, when these market mechanisms become available to behind-the-meter storage assets in ERCOT.
Powered by the NuGenesis project and sonnen, Quext Energy will introduce a new VPP-based retail electricity and backup power service for apartment residents, enabling them to purchase clean and affordable energy from the highly unique Quext Energy multifamily retail model, paying anywhere between 2%-10% below the ERCOT market average. Quext has established itself as a national leader in multifamily software and smart apartment IoT solutions for both community management and residents and with this project, Quext plans to tackle the problem of energy security for apartment owners and residents.
Renewable energy generated and purchased on the Quext Energy retail plan can originate behind-the-meter, from a resident’s rooftop solar array or in front-of-the-meter, from utility scale solar and wind generation. The majority of the sourced clean energy will be stored in the apartment’s intelligent sonnen battery and dispatched as needed to support the property and resident’s load, the energy needs of the entire community or the greater Texas energy system.
The physical VPP community solar and sonnen battery assets will be owned by the Virtual Power Plant Asset Company who benefits from a 25-year fixed PPA and battery swarm call option contract with Quext Energy. This structure provides a stable, fixed, and contracted return over the life of the contract.
Madera Residential will also gain a unique competitive advantage in the Texas multifamily housing market with the NuGenesis solar + battery project, by building the first scalable, apartment community-based clean energy VPP REP model with Quext Energy. With additional revenue from the Virtual Power Plant Asset Company, Madera offers its residents other extraordinary amenities, including carbon neutral living, energy security, and opportunities to contribute to the solution to climate change.
NuGenesis is the first time sonnen’s VPP model will be deployed in a deregulated market in the U.S. The model utilizes the flexible, free-market-based foundation of the Texas energy market to fortify and optimize the state’s power grid at large and deliver measurable benefits across the entire value chain, from energy market operators down to end customers. Following 2021’s Winter Storm Uri, Texas and other regions require a solution for reducing power outages and damage from climate-related weather events. Energy inequity caused by credit score requirements and inadequate models for integrating solar and storage into apartments have left millions of families underserved by the solar industry. With NuGenesis, the Madera apartment residents will receive solar-optimized backup power as a service at a minimal cost and no credit score requirements, democratizing access to life-stabilizing energy security in the face of outages and offering a pathway to greater resilience for all residents.
“sonnen is extremely honored to be a part of the landmark NuGenesis project with our partners at Quext Energy and Madera Residential, two distinctly passionate and purpose driven companies that are focused on solving our growing energy challenges,” said Blake Richetta, Chairman and CEO of sonnen, Inc. “Together, we are determined to make Texas into a national leader in the energy transition by deploying a scalable model for renewable energy and resiliency, which utilizes the ERCOT system to ensure that renewables are properly utilized as a valuable grid asset, while also ensuring that all Texans can participate in the program, regardless of income level.”
“sonnen is coming to Texas with an unparalleled track record of integrating Virtual Power Plant programs across diverse utility markets,” said Thomas Mandry, Partner at Quext Energy. “As true market innovators, sonnen’s capability to integrate dynamic backup power and grid resiliency services into Quext Energy’s next generation REP business model for the multifamily ecosystem will include IoT smart thermostat capabilities and best-in-class predictive analytics. Our two organizations are aligned on vision,
mentality, and values. Together, our technology platforms have the power to revolutionize energy in a deregulated market like ERCOT and bring pioneering change to apartment owners and residents in Texas.”
“Superstorm Uri was a real mess. After the storm, we became dedicated to the idea of finding a better way forward for Texas and now our new energy solution is finally ready for launch in our communities. Madera is proud to host the NuGenesis project, providing a critical solution for our residents to access clean, reliable and affordable energy, including energy security in the face of major weather-related grid outages, while contributing to the stability and health of Texas’s energy grid,” said Dave Marcinkowski, Founder and Partner at Madera Residential. “This is a model where everyone wins and though we are incredibly proud to lead the way, it is our sincere hope that other multifamily apartment community owners throughout Texas will follow Madera in solving this critical challenge for their apartment tenant families.”
With the introduction of NuGenesis into the deregulated Texas marketplace, sonnen now offers a VPP model compatible with all three major U.S. energy system configurations. NuGenesis follows the successful launch and ongoing operation of Rocky Mountain Power’s regulated and vertically integrated Wattsmart program in Utah alongside ES Solar and the Wasatch Group and the semi-deregulated, ISO marketplace managed sonnenConnect program in California, alongside Baker Electric Home Energy. By
pursuing regional partnerships with developers, solar contractors, utilities and energy retailers, sonnen will continue to lead the industry in bringing a full set of grid interactive ESS business model blueprints to all energy markets in the U.S.
sonnen is one of the world's leading manufacturers of smart energy storage systems and a pioneer of clean, decentralized and networked energy technologies. We are one of the fastest growing energy tech companies and we've received many internationally recognized awards including for our innovative virtual power plant. Our products and services are used by the sonnenCommunity, a collection of visionaries around the world who share our vision of clean and affordable energy for everyone. We have offices located in Germany, Italy, Australia, the UK and the USA. sonnen is a wholly owned subsidiary of Shell within its Renewables and Energy Solutions division. Learn more at: https://sonnenusa.com/en/.
Quext is a smart technology and services company pioneering exciting innovations that make smarter decisions brilliantly simple. Created by industry experts, Quext reimagined apartment technology with products that work seamlessly together delivering the easiest-to-learn, most intuitive, all-in-one, cloud-based apartment community nerve center ever offered. Core platform innovations include internet of things, property management, digital human customer support, broadband internet, electricity
monetization and fintech solutions. Quext is a people-centric firm founded by Madera Residential, an industry leader in multifamily housing investment and property management. Headquartered in Lubbock, TX, the company was recognized as a winner of the Fierce Wireless IoT Challenge 2020. To learn more, visit https://onequext.com/ or follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/onequext.
About Madera Residential
Madera Residential is a Lubbock, TX-based investment company that specializes in multifamily apartment communities across the state of Texas and beyond. Since 2008, Madera has acquired more than 100 properties and 28,500 units throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, Houston and Austin. Today, the company manages over 40 properties with a total value of over $2.1 billion. To learn more about Madera Residential, please visit maderaresidential.com or follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/MaderaResidential1.