Following a grant from the Victorian Government, Origin will develop its first first virtual power plant in the state.
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 5MW 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.
“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.”
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.
Lauren Butler is the assistant editor for Utility Magazine. She’s based in Melbourne, Australia.