AGL's virtual power plant commences operations


Australian company AGL Energy has revealed its residential virtual power plant (VPP) is now operational.

The company explained with the activation of the VPP plant, batteries installed in homes across Adelaide city will be coordinated to simultaneously aggregate discharge through smart software in a cloud-based platform, providing critical mass to generation capabilities.

AGL Energy's managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) Andy Vesey said: “Our South Australian VPP demonstration is a practical example of the new energy future.

“We’re excited Australia’s largest operating residential VPP is now live and the 60 plus batteries in homes across Adelaide are now linked by the smart software in our partner, Sunverge’s, cloud-based platform. 

“This shows it can be done and done successfully. What we are currently seeing is the ability to simultaneously aggregate the battery discharge, which is a necessary step towards full orchestration capability.

"VPP is now live and the 60 plus batteries in homes across Adelaide are now linked by the smart software in our partner, Sunverge’s, cloud-based platform."

“This also demonstrates the capability of the VPP to provide grid support services, including peak demand management and frequency control services, and we’ll share these results in our first public report in May this year."

The company estimates customers in the VPP trial will save around A$500 ($384) annually on energy bills.

The Government of Australia, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), will be providing up to A$5m ($3.8m) funding to support the A$20m ($15.3m) project, as part of ARENA’s ongoing efforts to accelerate Australia's shift to renewable energy.

The company anticipates that by the second half of next year nearly 1,000 batteries will be installed.