Melbourne-based energy technology company GreenSync has entered into a partnership with Victorian utility United Energy (UE) to deliver a landmark demand response and energy storage project on the Mornington Peninsula.
The project will defer the need for capital investment on the lower Mornington Peninsula by managing periods of peak demand.
In response to consumers becoming increasingly aware of their role in the energy ecosystem, UE said it found cost competitive alternatives to traditional network augmentation in GreenSync’s Community Grids Project.
Throughout the next five years, GreenSync will engage and incentivise households, small businesses and community organisations on the lower Mornington Peninsula (from Rosebud to Portsea) to help them reduce and/or shift their electricity usage voluntarily or through the use of solar PV and energy storage systems. GreenSync will also engage local utilities and other larger commercial and industrial operations to control their discretionary loads.
UE CEO Tony Narvaez said non-network demand response initiative will allow the utility to delay having to build new infrastructure to meet infrequent high demand in the area, typically in the summer holiday period.
“An important driver of our current and future strategy is the ability to leverage advanced technologies. The GreenSync solution will allow us to work collaboratively with our customers to continue to deliver a safe, reliable and cost-effective energy supply,” he said.
“Our partnership with GreenSync is another sign of our evolution from a traditional network distribution into an enabler of an innovative energy future.”
A small scale trial of the Community Grids Project will be run in the 2016/17 summer period, and the project itself is expected to commence in late 2018.
Government funding to pilot Demand Response Enabled Device units
The Victorian Government awarded GreenSync $554,886 in grant funding as part of the $20 million New Energy Jobs Fund earlier in the month.The fund has been launched to support Victorian-based projects that create long-term jobs, increase the uptake of renewable energy generation, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and drive innovation in new energy technologies.
GreenSync will use its grant funding to install two battery systems at community centres such as schools and surf lifesaving clubs where existing solar PV will enable implementation of a solar and storage solution.
The funds will also be used to pilot up to 250 Demand Response Enabled Device (DRED) control units in households across the Peninsula in the next 18 months. Through DRED control, air-conditioners can have their power optimised or their use sequenced, without reducing comfort, to lower peak demand when the grid is under stress.
This project is the first in Australia to be given the green light following application of a Regulatory Investment Test for Distribution (RIT-D).