7 minute read

World's largest virtual power plant goes live

Richard Clifton-Smith
16 March 2017

We are excited to announce that the world's largest residential virtual power plant (VPP) went live today in Adelaide. The VPP works by harnessing the energy output from solar panels and batteries installed in homes, and orchestrating when and how much of this energy is fed into the power grid.

Our Managing Director & CEO Andy Vesey was excited about the potential of the 5 MW peaking VPP to provide energy security and savings for customers.

"The VPP will deliver benefits for multiple groups, including: customers by reducing their energy bills; the network by lowering required capital investment to upgrade infrastructure; for AGL by providing another source of generation to deploy into the network with the balance used in our portfolio; and, the environment through reduced emissions.” said Mr Vesey.

Mr Vesey was positive about the VPP's ability to provide grid support services, including peak demand management and frequency control. The VPP also demonstrates the value of batteries in the energy transition, as it offers alternative capacity to thermal plants and enables higher penetration of renewables in the SA grid by allowing intermittent renewable energy to be used when it’s needed, rather than when it’s produced.

Customers in the VPP trial will save around $500 per year on their energy bill. This is in addition to participants having received a battery which was heavily subsidised by AGL.

The VPP project is being rolled out in three phases over about 18 months. By next year, 1,000 batteries are expected to be deployed across metropolitan Adelaide.

To learn more, see our Media Release.