AGL is putting together the world’s largest virtual power plant by linking and controlling 1,000 solar power batteries installed in homes and businesses in South Australia.
This will create about 5 MW (megawatt) of peak capacity power to help South Australia manage usage and deliver cheaper electricity.
The state, with about 40% of its power generation created by wind and solar, has the most costly electricity in Australia.
“This project is the world’s largest, the first of its kind and an innovative solution to both help customers manage their energy bills and at the same time contribute to grid stability,” says AGL CEO Andy Vesey.
“It offers consumers the opportunity to be part of the world’s largest virtual power plant, giving them greater ability to consume more of the energy generated from their own rooftop solar systems, lowering power bills, reducing emissions and purchasing a battery at a significant discount.”
The virtual power plant works by using a cloud-connected system to remotely control batteries at individual homes across suburbs in unison.
When working together, the batteries can be used to provide grid stability by discharging at a time that will be of greatest benefit for the customer and the community.
AGL is partnering with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and US-based energy storage and management company Sunverge in the project to be rolled out over 18 months.
Homes taking part in the project will be able to buy heavily discounted 5kW/7.7 kWh energy storage systems.