AGL launches broader VPP after successful trial

AGL CEO Brett Redman. Image: AGL

AGL has released details about a new residential battery program that will allow customers to harness the power of their solar battery systems and reap additional rewards, with credits of up to $280 a year on their electricity bill for participating in the program.

During a speech at Australian Energy Week, AGL CEO Brett Redman announced that after the successful trial of its Virtual Power Plant (VPP) technology in Adelaide, AGL would launch a new broader VPP.

The initiative will see customers benefit from providing Virtual Power Plant services to AGL at times when the energy system needs it.

“Right now, generally customers can only use their solar systems to meet their own energy needs and sell any surplus back into the grid,” Mr Redman said.

“The AGL Virtual Power Plant unlocks new benefits for customers, a partnership that allows customers to provide services to AGL to support the grid at times when energy is needed.”

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Almost 25 per cent of standalone homes, around 1.7 million in total, have solar systems installed.

The Australian Energy Market Operator estimates Australia will see 150,000 residential battery systems installed by 2025.

“A battery is a significant investment and the AGL Virtual Power Plant program is a means of creating more value for the customer,” Mr Redman said.

“The new Virtual Power Plant will enhance reliability and affordability, sharing the benefits and in effect allows customers to act as generators.”

In July 2019, AGL will be launching an offer in Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland for customers who already have compatible batteries installed, allowing them to enter our Virtual Power Plant program.

The details and full terms and conditions will be available shortly. The intention is to offer a 12-month contract for customers who are AGL electricity customers with an eligible battery installed.

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Customers will earn an additional $280 in the first year to put towards their electricity bill, comprising a one-off $100 sign-on bonus and $45 each quarter (in total $180 per year) to participate in the Virtual Power Plant program.

AGL will also be introducing a customer offer for sale and installation of residential batteries, beginning in South Australia, offering an upfront payment of $1,000 towards the cost of their battery for participating in the Virtual Power Plant program for five years.

AGL is looking to expand offers of battery sale and install to other states as customer needs and state subsidies evolve.