Origin to trial demand management in SA

Origin will roll out a new flexible energy demand trial with a group of commercial and industrial customers in South Australia this summer.

The company is working with UK-based start-up Tempus Energy, which is part of the global Free Electrons accelerator co-founded by Origin and seven other utilities from around the world.

Tempus Energy has developed a demand-side management platform that lets customers use flexible load in their own assets and building management systems (BMS).

The technology uses AI and smart algorithms to control and optimise when these flexible assets use energy, reducing costs, aligning with abundant renewables and increasing grid stability.

During the trial, Origin will use the platform to shift non-time critical load into cheaper periods or when renewables are plentiful, and test the potential savings that could be unlocked for the customer.

The technology can also help overcome the intermittency challenges of renewables, by helping energy to be used more efficiently and effectively.

“There are a number of technologies we’re trialing at the moment that we believe could be part of the future energy mix that helps to maintain affordability and security of energy for our customers,” Origin executive general manager Tony Lucas said.

“Demand-side management is one of those technologies we believe could have strong merit, and we’re excited to get our trial with Tempus Energy under way in South Australia so we can better understand the benefits and the customer proposition.”

Creating a flexible electricity load market using technology marries well with high levels of renewable energy and volatile electricity prices.

The technology combines smart software that predicts market prices with a clever business model that allows flexible customers to be rewarded.

“We are looking forward to working with Origin to help them explore the benefits and challenges of new flexible energy demand solutions, and how this can contribute towards the transition to a lower carbon and stable energy system that can deliver tangible benefits to customers,” Tempus Energy founder and CEO Sara Bell said.

“South Australia is an ideal place for Tempus to pilot our technology and we thank the South Australian Government for its support. “There are natural synergies in our endeavours to deliver a secure, reliable, affordable and clean power for the future, and the potential role of our technology to help customers take charge of their energy consumption.

“New markets have new challenges and Tempus Energy can help customers take advantage of renewables and use flexibility to take advantage of market volatility, bringing customers cheaper bills and ensure a more reliable energy system.”