Origin will develop its first virtual power plant in Victoria following a grant from the Victorian Government.
Using batteries and solar PV systems linked to cloud-based demand management software that will optimise solar and battery use, Origin plans to connect more than 600 residential and commercial properties across Victoria.
Up to 5 MW of electricity generated and stored by connected properties will become part of Origin’s broader wholesale portfolio and integrated with the Brisbane-based Monitoring and Support Centre for dispatch into the National Electricity Market much like a traditional centralised power plant.
Origin Executive General Manager Retail Jon Briskin said, “A record number of Australians are embracing solar and we’re delighted to be partnering with the Victorian Government to see how we can deliver benefits across the network and ultimately lower costs for customers.
“By offering trial participants access to cheaper batteries and solar PV systems and connecting these to our demand management platforms, we will be able to help customers manage their stored and generated electricity, have this traded into the electricity market and reduce demand placed on the existing electricity network.
“We’re the leading supplier of solar systems to residential and business customers, were among the first to retail battery storage in Australia and have been leading the way in the identification and trialing of cutting edge demand management platforms.
“The development of a virtual power plant brings together several initiatives Origin has been trialing to help customers embrace the benefits of distributed and decentralised energy.”
Information on how Victorian customers can participate in the virtual power plant initiative will be available later this year.
The virtual power plant initiative is being funded through the Victorian Government’s Microgrid Demonstration Initiative grant program, which is providing $10 million to support eight state-wide microgrid projects totaling more than $37 million in value.