The Government of Australia is set to provide funding for ten new pilot projects through the through Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
The projects are expected to supply a combined 200MW of energy to the country’s grid during peak demand by 2020.
The pilot projects will receive a total of A$35.7m ($24m) funding to help Australia manage electricity supply during extreme weather conditions such as prolonged summer heatwaves and unplanned outages.
The projects are due to be tested across Victoria, South Australia, and New South Wales (NSW) over a period of three years.
ARENA is expected to provide A$28.6m ($29m) of the total funding, while the NSW Government will provide A$7.2m ($5m).
In addition, the ARENA fund will be used to establish and operate the proof of concept projects, which are anticipated to support grid security and stability.
Part of the demand response initiative, the projects also seek to provide an incentive for energy users to reduce their power consumption.
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said: “Through this initiative, we’ve been able to build a virtual power plant the size of two of Tesla’s giant 100MW batteries in a matter of months for a fraction of the cost of building a new power station.
“We are also trialling an innovative range of technologies and behaviour change programs from voltage control to remotely controlling air conditioning to app notifications.
“Demand response will not only ease the strain on the electricity grid and prevent blackouts. These projects will also put money back into the pockets of Australian businesses and households, helping to reduce their energy costs and emissions.”
The projects are set to be tested by AEMO next month and are expected to be operational by December this year.