With the increasing amount of distributed clean energy on the Australian grid, smart metering stands out as a major catalyst of the energy market transformation.
Looking to further extend the befits of the technology that gives consumers more control over their energy use, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has committed $35 million of debt finance to support the expansion of intelliHUB, a joint venture between Pacific Equity Partners and global smart meter producer Landis+Gyr.
“Smart meters give energy consumers better control over their energy consumption, which is essential for lowering carbon emissions. They also give consumers the ability to better understand where and how they can benefit from behind-the-meter solar pv and energy storage solutions,“ said CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth.
The funds will also help the joint venture realize the acquisition of Acumen, Origin Energy’s $267 million smart meter business unit, as announced in May.
The Acumen business included the existing management and servicing of an already deployed 170,000 meters and the combined business has future, long-term contracts with Origin Energy and other retailers that will see it deploy and manage more than 1 million smart meters across Australia and New Zealand.
The CEFC investment comes as the rollout of Power of Choice reforms is gearing up, requiring all new and replacement electricity meters to use smart technology in order to give consumers more control over their energy consumption.
“There are some 9 million metering points in the National Electricity Market. By accelerating their conversion to smarter technologies, customers will benefit from more meaningful information relating to their energy consumption,“ CEFC Grid Solutions and Storage Lead Simon Brooker said, noting that these customers will be better informed when considering investment in solar and storage solutions.
Clearly, electricity network operators will also benefit from the switch to new technology.
“Through improved data provision, electricity network operators will be able to harness greater insights to enable a smoother operation of the energy grid, facilitating improved integration of renewables and energy storage,” Brooker added.
Australia’s green bank appears to be not the only one that has recognized smart metering as an essential part of an integrated clean energy future.
According to intelliHUB CEO Adrian Clark, the CEFC is one of a number of high profile investors to sign up to back intelliHUB’s planned metering deployments.