Virtual Power Plants and Energy Justice

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) Order 2222, issued in September 2020, removes barriers for distributed energy resources (DERs) to participate in wholesale energy markets by allowing DERs to aggregate and participate in wholesale markets as a single entity, known as a virtual power plant (VPP). VPPs can provide balancing, reliability, and resiliency grid services and can participate in capacity, energy and ancillary services markets. They can also increase customer energy access and lower electricity bills. This report focuses on VPP business models, including considerations of energy justice (EJ). Through an analysis of the VPP value chain, business models, programs, and pilots, several VPP applications are identified and grouped by their ability to have quantitatively measurable or monetized benefits. Benefits and barriers specific to underserved communities are outlined, and VPP programs with an intentional focus on underserved communities are compared to those without such a focus.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages49
StatePublished - 2023

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-7A40-86607


  • business models
  • energy justice
  • use cases
  • virtual power plant


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