Sunrun’s Capacity Supply Obligation in ISO-NE Forward Capacity Auction Signals the Beginning of a New Era for the New England Grid

Our client, Sunrun, the nation’s leading home solar, battery storage and energy services company, won an historic bid to deliver home solar and batteries as a capacity resource in ISO-NE’s recent Forward Capacity Auction (“FCA”), for the capacity commitment period June 1, 2022- May 31, 2023.  Sunrun’s participation in New England’s capacity market is the first time in the country that home solar and battery storage has directly participated alongside traditional generation resources in a wholesale capacity auction.

Image courtesy of Sunrun Inc.

Sunrun won its bid to provide 20 megawatts of capacity from Sunrun’s Brightbox home solar and battery systems to the region beginning in 2022.  The Brightbox system can power homes day and night and provide backup power in the event of a grid outage. Brightbox can also deliver power to homes at times when demand for electricity is at its highest, reducing the need for to rely on fossil fuel resources during peak demand, an issue of increasing importance in New England. Sunrun’s successful participation in the FCA also opens a new revenue stream for the company, which will enable the company to further lower costs to its customers. Home solar and batteries can also reduce the need for additional expensive electricity infrastructure, such as new transmission lines.

Foley Hoag’s Adam Wade, Carol Holahan and Zachary Gerson counseled Sunrun with respect to its participation in FCA 13 by providing advice regarding navigating the ISO-NE process, analyzing, quantifying, and bounding auction risks, developing auction strategy and advising Sunrun on important substantive legal issues such as ownership of capacity rights.  In guiding Sunrun on such an array of market strategy and regulatory issues, Foley Hoag partnered with Peter Fuller, principal of Autumn Lane Energy LLC, an industry leader in ISO-NE markets. This team approach allowed Sunrun ready access to the collective comprehensive experiences of the Foley Hoag and Autumn Lane Energy team members.

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