Australia’s Origin Energy is set to build its first 5MW virtual power plant (VPP) in Victoria after receiving financial backing from the Victorian Government.
For the A$20m ($14.3m) VPP project, the government has agreed to offer a funding of A$4.5m ($3.2m) through its Microgrid Demonstration Initiative grant programme.
The grant programme has been created to provide A$10m ($7.1m) to support eight state-wide microgrid projects totalling more than A$37m ($26m) in value.
The cloud-based VPP project will distribute power from up to 650 customers with solar PV and batteries during peak periods.
Origin Retail executive general manager 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 the 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 VPP is expected to help Victoria reach its renewable energy goals of 25% by 2020 and 40% by 2025.