AGL trial tests value of trading excess solar energy

Rooftop solar panels (record)

Households with rooftop solar panels are taking part in a ground breaking trial which tests the value of sharing solar energy with family, friends and neighbours.

AGL executive general manager new energy Elisabeth Brinton said 20 AGL customers were participating in the trial which started in July.

“As more of our customers install solar and batteries, they are playing an increasingly important role in the electricity system, and we are finding new ways to enable them to actively participate in that system and engage with each other and their community,” she said.

“The trial is testing the value to customers of sharing solar energy for financial and social gain by empowering them to connect with their peers, make efficient use of their solar and batteries, and contribute to the decarbonisation of their community.

“Under the right conditions, a buyer could get energy at a lower price than from the grid, while a generator could sell excess energy at a higher price than the solar feed-in tariff.

“As part of the trial, we released a prototype web application which enables customers to set their trading goals and connections, and to understand their household energy usage and trading activity with peers in the application.

“In the coming months, we will expand the scope of the peer-to-peer pilot to more customers to test a new range of exciting features in the prototype app.”

Trial participant Christine Odgers said she used less than half of the energy produced each day from the 3kW system installed at her home in 2015, leaving the balance to share with relatives in the application trial.

“My motivation was to support family members who don’t have solar panels by sharing energy with them and helping them offset their power bills,” she said.

“I strongly recommend it to others. The more these programs are spread throughout the community, the more we can rely on local consumption of green power. It’s a very satisfying thing to do.”