Ausgrid, with distributed energy leader Reposit Power, has launched a 1 megawatt virtual power plant (VPP) with 233 customers across 170 suburbs in Sydney, the Central Coast and the Hunter region.
Customers who choose to participate in the trial, which allows electricity from their batteries to be directed back into the grid, will receive direct cash payments from Ausgrid, through Reposit Power, of up to $135 per year, depending on the size of their battery system.
When Ausgrid activates signals to customers’ batteries via the customer’s Reposit software, their stored energy is exported to the grid. Reposit then pays customers for the energy they supply, lowering their energy costs.
CEO Richard Gross said the trial is being delivered by Ausgrid’s Power2U initiative, which is part of a broader $7 million Demand Management innovation program. He said it is one way Ausgrid is engaging with partners and customers to shape the future of energy, by working smarter with the customers’ existing renewable energy investments.
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“This is the first program of its type for Ausgrid. Solutions like a virtual power plant not only help customers, it helps the grid. If the trial is successful, it could provide a lower cost alternative to grid investment, which would result in lower customer bills in the long term,” Mr Gross said.
“The partnership with Reposit Power will give our customers a choice about the way they share their excess electricity and gives them a better return on their investment.
“We will continue to explore alternative ways to deliver more flexible grid services to our customers to reduce their electricity costs and the costs on our network.”
Reposit Power co-founder and CEO, Dean Spaccavento, said that the future of energy is happening now, and Australia is leading the charge.
“Reposit Power is proud to partner with progressive energy companies like Ausgrid and share their passion for empowering consumers and communities,” Mr Spaccavento said.
“Reposit was recently awarded the highest engineering award for building a Virtual Power Plant (VPP). VPPs are the next step in Australia’s energy revolution.
“We are confident that this trial will demonstrate the value of our clean, flexible and cost-effective VPPs to individual households and the wider community.”
The partnership with Reposit is the first stage of Ausgrid’s VPP program. To enable greater customer choice and expand the VPP, Ausgrid will invite participation from other demand response market providers later this year. Customers can register their interest with Ausgrid to receive updates on the progress of VPP here.
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