Schneider Electric joins forces with Western Power for energy flexibility

SPS, energy networks, western power DER, SPS
A Western Power stand-alone power system

Schneider Electric has joined forces with Western Power in a pilot project to enable WA businesses, through energy retailers, to manage their distributed energy resources (DER) for compensation while providing support for the network.

The pilot is part of Western Power’s drive to a brighter, stronger energy future through transforming the network by using emerging technologies and integrating customer owned energy resources.

Delivered through a flexibility services program, the pilot will see WA businesses through energy retailers managing their DER, such as solar PV, batteries and manageable loads like heating and cooling systems, in return for compensation by Western Power.

Schneider will provide the technology for the project, which is one of the first steps Western Power is taking towards building capability to deliver on the WA Government’s DER Roadmap.

The roadmap is part of the State’s Energy Transformation Strategy, which outlines actions that need to be taken over the next five years to enable the full potential, benefits and value of small-scale devices including rooftop solar panels, batteries and electric vehicles.

Schneider will provide Western Power with a platform to manage flexibility services, which will include features such as participant portfolio management, user interfaces for program partners and transaction management.

Related article:Australia’s average gas prices remain among lowest in Asia

Schneider Electric’s Zone President Pacific Gareth O’Reilly said the company was pleased to provide a world leading platform for the business’s grid flexibility project.

“Our remote energy management systems will provide increased levels of visibility allowing commercial and industrial program participants to balance their use from the grid and their own energy resources, such and PV and Storage.” he said.

“We’re excited about this innovative approach and supporting Western Power in a project that will facilitate greater adoption of distributed energy resources in WA.”

Western Power CEO Ed Kalajzic said WA’s energy landscape was rapidly changing and Western Power was at the forefront of delivering a more flexible, smarter and lower carbon energy future for West Australians.

“By connecting renewable energy sources such as solar and wind and using smart technology, we’ve begun to progressively transform our network into a flexible grid that seamlessly connects batteries and microgrids,” he said.

“Currently, rooftop solar PV across our network has the potential to contribute to 45 per cent of our system needs at certain times of the day – one of the highest percentages in the world.

Related article: REC Group wins Intersolar Award 2020

“With households and businesses now not only consuming energy from the network but also supplying energy we’ve begun to transform the grid to ensure its more sustainable, adaptive and responsive for the future.

“This project aims to demonstrate how both our customers and the network can realise value by using customer owned distributed energy resources in balance with traditional network solutions.

“With support from Schneider Electric, our teams are working at the forefront of energy transformation and believe these advances will become a relevant benchmark for other distribution networks globally.”

Western Power’s pilot aims to demonstrate that by providing flexibility services to pilot participants, commercial and industrial costs will reduce helping address voltage issues while enabling grid flexibility and greater renewable penetration into the energy system.