Victorian DNSPs explore grid flexibility solution

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CitiPower and Powercor will utilise Piclo’s digital flexibility marketplace to provide a strategic and coordinated approach to integrating renewable energy assets including solar, batteries, and electric vehicles into the grid as Victoria continues its energy transition.

Piclo said the Piclo Flex platform will allow CitiPower and Powercor – which between them have more than 1.27 million customers and oversee a large proportion of Victoria’s electricity distribution network – to source flexible electricity from sellers during times of high demand or low supply.

Piclo said the rise of renewables in the grid is delivering volatile supply and demand patterns and location mismatches between renewable generation sources and major energy consumption centres, making flexibility the key to balancing the energy system.

The software provider said the flexibility marketplace technology helps to remove constraints and also supports decarbonisation of grids and provides flexible electricity over expensive bulk power from traditional coal or gas-powered sources.

Andrew Dinning, Head of Network Planning at CitiPower and Powercor, said the adoption of Piclo Flex addresses the DNSP’s aim to integrate distributed energy resources, such as solar, batteries, smart appliances, and electric vehicles, efficiently and flexibly.

“Having seen Piclo’s work with other networks internationally, we’re excited to partner with them in 2024,” he said.

“This project will help to further develop our own capabilities as a distribution system operator and open more of our network constraints to build the market for flex in Australia.”

The partnership marks Piclo’s entry into the Australian energy market, adding to its 300,000 registered flexible assets globally, representing 22 GW of capacity in the UK, Italy, Portugal, and the US, with flexibility contracts awarded totalling $142 million (USD 92 million) and more than 2.6 GW of flexible capacity procured.

Piclo Chief Executive and co-founder James Johnston said the partnership with CitiPower and Powercor represents a significant milestone for Australia as it embarks on its flexibility journey.

“If you are a DER provider with flexibility assets in Victoria, please do reach out, we’ll be in touch soon with further details for how to participate,” he said in a social media post.

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