Ten trial participants, recruited through a competition held in the town of Carnarvon in WA last year, have received a DER system as part of a trial run by Horizon Power.

The DER systems consist of solar panels, a solar inverter, battery and battery inverter, DER control technology and a Wattwatchers device so participants can monitor their system performance.

In addition, six other trial participants on the Gibson feeder have received battery systems to augment their existing PV systems.

In return for the equipment the participants are giving Horizon Power three years of access to the systems so that they can test DER visibility and control, and how much renewable energy is used in the house.

Horizon Power will also look at how participants could use the battery to manage their peak demand and save money on their electricity bill as well as how Horizon Power can communicate with their PV and battery system to achieve orchestration of these assets as part of network optimisation.

Each of the participants’ systems is fitted with monitor and control technology that allows Horizon Energy to gather PV and battery performance data which they will marry together with weather data, power station performance and network operation data.

Analysis of the data collected from the participant’s DER systems are already providing valuable insight into the way fluctuations in solar PV generation is impacting on network operation.

Researchers from Murdoch University’s School of Engineering and Information Technology (Horizon Power’s academic partners for the trials) are analysing the data and developing control strategies to better manage the PV and battery systems.

Before joining the Utility team, Eliza worked as a freelance journalist for a number of years. Eliza has the rare talent of being able to find the nuggets of gold in otherwise average source material, and like any self-respecting member of gen-Y is a whiz when it comes to social media marketing and management.

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