The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has awarded $3.7 million in funding to Enel X to add hundreds of supermarkets and refrigerated warehouses to a virtual power plant (VPP) operation to provide flexible demand to the National Electricity Market.
Despite their promise, adoption rates of Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) in Australia have been underwhelming. Head of Renewable Energy Finance at Plenti, Louis Edwards, says the issue stems from VPP operator’s overlooking their point of sale. “It’s too much risk the installer takes and they don’t do it,” he tells pv magazine Australia.
GemLife, which describes itself as “luxury resort living for the over-50s,” has set up its own Virtual Power Plant (VPP), and is set to invest $75 million in coming years to rollout the VPPs across more than 10,000 homes in its property portfolio on Australia’s east coast.
Gentrack has announced a strategic partnership with Evergen, supporting the enablement of a more distributed and decentralised energy system globally.
Virtual Power Plants, or VPPs, are relatively mature in Australia due to the country’s high penetration of, and familiarity with, distributed energy resources. But claims of VPP success and participation may be overblown, with a considerable gaps between the numbers some platforms are claiming and the realms of possibility.
Rooftop solar stronghold Western Australia has been offered a glimpse of its energy future with the market operator having activated its first virtual power plant to prevent household blackouts after heatwave conditions sparked concern for the state’s main energy grid.
Energy management software company SwitchDin will share lessons learned during Australia’s ongoing transition to a two-way power grid with counterparts in the United States after teaming with a coalition of companies to scale up the use of virtual power plants.
Hybrid Systems Australia, Pacific Energy’s integrated renewables subsidiary, has been awarded the contract to install solar and battery systems at four schools in Western Australia’s Mid West region as a part of Synergy’s Schools Virtual Power Plant pilot project.
Western Australia’s largest virtual power plant, the government-support Project Symphony, is live. The project is particularly noteworthy for its introduction of new markets to reward different services and its use of Dynamic Operating Envelopes.
Smart technology that controls energy flow on power grids could soon be the norm in the Northern Territory with a trial launched in the outback town of Alice Springs that will test the economic and energy efficiency of a rooftop solar-driven virtual power plant.
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