Simply Energy expands list of eligible batteries for South Australian VPP

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Electricity retailer Simply Energy is moving forward with its project to connect energy storage systems of South Australian households into a virtual power plant (VPP) with the addition of Evolve from Canadian battery manufacturer Eguana Technologies to the list of eligible energy storage systems. The list already includes: the LG Chem/SolarEdge combination, sonnenBatterie eco and Tesla Powerwall.

In the first such initiative since the launch of the South Australia Home Battery Scheme last October, storage system owners will be able to earn on-bill credits of up to $5,100 in exchange for providing Simply Energy with the right to operate the battery from time to time to deliver ancillary services to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), including frequency regulation and contingency reserve.

The Simply Extra VPP offer is available to eligible customers in South Australia who have a fully functioning solar PV system with a minimum 3 kW inverter size and have recently purchased an eligible energy storage system under the South Australia Home Battery Scheme through one of Simply Energy’s specified installers: Class A Energy Solutions, Cool or cosy, Tindo Solar or SkyGreen.The customers also need to have reliable internet connection and a smart meter or be willing to have one installed.

To access the offer, the customers have to agree to Simply Energy monitoring, controlling and managing their energy storage system for a five year period. They will in return earn VPP Access Credits, which will be calculated on a daily basis at $3.49 per day, to a maximum of $5,100 and credited to customers’ accounts monthly.

Last year, Simply Energy initiated its first VPP project, the rollout of which amounts to $23 million. Under the program, the retailer plans to deliver up to 1200 Tesla Powerwall 2 batteries to Adelaide households representing 6 MW of residential energy storage, and deploy a further 2 MW of demand response capacity across 10 commercial businesses.

The initiative, which was supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) with a $7.7 million in funding, was announced as Adelaide’s second VPP. Previously, Australia’s biggest utility AGL started building a 5 MW/12 MWh VPP in the city, using Tesla Powerwall 2 batteries and the LG Chem RESU 10h-SolarEdge combination, underpinned by $5 million in funding from ARENA.