Project Symphony goes online in Western Australia

suburban rooftops with solar panels (million)
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Project Symphony is now live with more than 300 customers and their 650 assets recruited to participate in Western Australia’s largest virtual power plant.

The Harrisdale and Piara Waters pilot will identify how distributed energy resources, such as rooftop solar, batteries, and electric vehicles can benefit customers participating in a future energy market.

Related article: Western Power launches $35.5m Project Symphony pilot

The Perth southern suburbs were chosen for embracing renewable energy, with more than 50 per cent of households having rooftop solar.

Virtual power plants could be the future for electricity in WA. Instead of power stations carrying hundreds of kilometres of high voltage wires, houses could become the central power station—through rooftop solar and battery storage.

The federal government—through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)—has contributed $8.6 million to the $35.5 million project, which is a partnership between Western Power, Synergy, Energy Policy WA, and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). 

The McGowan Labor Government has invested $19.3 million, and AEMO $7.6 million.

Testing is underway until April 2023—with more than 200 customer assets now successfully ‘orchestrated’ as a single facility—providing benefits to the community and network.

Western Australia Energy Minister Bill Johnston said, “It’s great to see hundreds of customers embracing Project Symphony. Their participation will provide valuable insights into how Western Australia’s electricity system can be strengthened to continue to provide reliable, secure, and affordable power.

Related article: Solar Connect VPP trial launches in Alice Springs

“In the face of a rapidly changing energy industry, customers’ rooftop solar systems, batteries, and air conditioning orchestrated together can play a meaningful role in providing services and stability to the network. 

“Project Symphony is a major deliverable of the McGowan Government’s Distributed Energy Resources Roadmap.”

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