South Australia to get second virtual power plant

Tuesday, 03 April, 2018

South Australia to get second virtual power plant

Simply Energy has announced plans to build an 8 MW virtual power plant in Adelaide.

The $23 million project has received $7.7 million funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. The project will deliver Tesla Powerwall 2 home batteries to up to 1200 Adelaide households representing 6 MW of residential energy storage. A further 2 MW of demand response capacity will be deployed across 10 commercial businesses.

The virtual power plant is expected to be up and running by the end of 2019.

The three-year trial will give South Australia Power Networks (SAPN) greater visibility of behind-the-meter battery storage and access to those batteries as distributed energy resources that can be used to address local network constraints and manage demand.

The virtual power plant project will also develop Greensync’s innovative distributed energy exchange or ‘deX’ platform to a commercial scale. The deX platform was developed by Greensync with the support of ARENA to provide an energy marketplace where energy capacity can be transacted between businesses, households, communities and utilities in response to price signals from the network owner.

Simply Energy’s virtual power plant will be the second in South Australia after ARENA previously provided $5 million in funding to AGL to establish a virtual power plant of 1000 households and businesses across Adelaide.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said this project will build on the AGL VPP. “This is a potential model for how distributed energy resources can be operated at large scale in the future to help reduce energy prices,” Frischknecht said.

“This trial will also demonstrate the commercial benefits of integrating a virtual power plant into a distributed energy market platform such as deX,” he said.

Simply Energy CEO Carly Wishart said Adelaide households will be able to participate in the trial, which will see the home battery system delivered at a subsidised price.

“We will work closely with South Australian Power Networks to give both networks and the market operator greater visibility of behind-the-meter batteries and the ability to use batteries to manage demand and manage network constraints, reducing network costs.”

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