Origin’s first virtual power plant set to enter the grid

The transition towards a more modern and efficient grid is underway, with energy generation and storage moving from large central power stations to the homes and businesses of Victorians.

With the support of the Victorian Government, Origin will develop a 5MW virtual power plant by connecting over 600 households and businesses using solar, battery and software to manage demand and energy flows.

We’ll be using cloud-based demand management software to link these systems together and dispatch the power generated back to the grid, which will help stabilise and strengthen the network, benefitting all customers.

The 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 totalling more than $37 million in value.

Up to 5 MW of electricity generated and stored by connected properties will become part of our broader wholesale portfolio and integrated with the Brisbane-based Monitoring and Support Centre for dispatch into the National Electricity Market, just 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 trialling of cutting edge demand management platforms.

“The development of a virtual power plant brings together several initiatives Origin has been trialling to help customers embrace the benefits of distributed and decentralised energy.”

FAQs

What’s a Virtual Power Plant?

A virtual power plant is a network of connected energy generating and storage sources like solar PV and batteries. These assets are linked by cloud-based software technology that monitor performance and controls when energy is dispatched to the National Electricity Grid.

What are the benefits of a Virtual Power Plant

Virtual Power Plants like this one will help customers optimise how they use assets like solar PV and batteries which in turn will help deliver savings, help reduce the stress placed on the electricity network and help reduce carbon emission levels by utilising renewable generation.

How do I sign up?

Information on how Victorian customers can participate in the virtual power plant initiative will be available later this year.

50% solar panel rebate available now!

The Victorian Government recently announced a solar rebate – covering up to 50% of the cost of a solar panel system (capped at $2,225).

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