Following a successful initial trial, Ausgrid has greenlit the next phase of its VPP project and opening up the initiative to include Evergen. The trial’s expansion means hundreds and potentially thousands of additional customers joining the program which aims to explore a more flexible way of managing the grid. Furthermore, it aligns with Evergen’s mission of helping consumers unlock further energy savings and reducing our carbon footprint.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the home becoming the new working and learning environment, this may lead to an increase in home energy costs.
Evergen CEO and Managing Director Ben Hutt said in spite of the crises Australia has faced this year, energy – particularly clean energy – can offer significant cost savings in these uncertain times. With tighter cost controls and the ability for customers to earn extra money from their battery (while supporting the grid), this disruptive period is a favourable time for customers to elect to join the program. So far, 33% of Evergen customers have already opted in to participate.
“This is a great opportunity for Ausgrid customers with an Evergen system (or a Tesla or AlphaESS battery purchased from another distributor) to trial this revolutionary new way of integrating with the grid. In the near future, customers with batteries will get paid on an ongoing basis for participating in initiatives such as this. We are thrilled to be partnering with Ausgrid to help consumers unlock further energy savings for Australian homes.
“This pilot program is one of a number of network initiatives Evergen is involved in across the country and will build a case for much broader roll-out and adoption of battery technology. As the network infrastructure moves to be smarter, having these controls in homes allows customers to earn revenue from the grid for controlling their loads, for example, turning down their air-conditioning. Initiatives such as this will support the mass adoption of batteries as part of the network infrastructure, as the economics improve significantly with paybacks coming down to roughly five years depending on location and usage. At this level mass adoption becomes possible, and it’s the Evergen software that can enable this at scale.”
Ausgrid launched a 1-megawatt (MW) VPP in March 2019 which resulted in 270 customers across 170 suburbs in Sydney, the Central Coast and the Hunter using residential batteries to export stored power back into the grid. On average, customers fed 1.8 kilowatts (kW) into the grid, reducing each household’s power bills during the four-month trial period.
During the trial, Ausgrid may send signals to customers’ batteries via Evergen’s intelligent management software and the stored energy in their battery may be exported to the grid. In this event, Evergen will pay customers a high price (~$1KwH) for the energy they supply, lowering their energy costs.
Evergen is at the forefront of the green economy with the country’s most advanced smart solar and battery systems and software. Evergen’s intelligent energy management system increases the performance of single dwelling solar and battery systems and enables operation of virtual power plants (VPP) and microgrids, where fleets of systems are orchestrated and optimised together with the energy networks, not just in Australia, but in a growing number of international markets. Its technology delivers significant savings to customers (on average up to 80 per cent of electricity costs) and it is contracted in several network operator initiatives to test the impact that batteries at both a residential and commercial scale can have on distributed energy networks through VPPs, Microgrids, Demand Response and other initiatives.