Solar PV R&DProject Simply Energy Virtual Power Plant (VPP)
This report presents lessons related to development of battery system subsidies in the market, and findings from customer surveys regarding preferences and uptake of battery offers.
VPPx is an ARENA funded project which commenced in March 2018 and has been working to build the first virtual power plant (VPP) that will integrate with a distributed energy market platform. The project is led by Simply Energy and involves a consortium of project partners including technology vendor GreenSync and distribution network service provider SA Power Networks (SAPN).
At completion, the VPP was aiming to host 1,200 home battery storage systems which would deliver 6.5 MW of flexible capacity to the South Australian (SA) electricity grid. GreenSync’s Decentralised Energy Exchange (deX) platform has been developed as part of the project with the objective of being utilised to support the transaction of value from this flexible capacity in the provision of wholesale energy services, frequency control and ancillary services (FCAS), and potentially network support services, whilst maintaining network security and stability for the local distribution network.
Although there was considerable innovation in the new technology applied to this project, one of the main knowledge sharing objectives was focussed on how customers would respond. Of particular interest was the sensitivity of customers to the costs of VPP participation, principally driven by the cost of residential battery storage systems and how varying product offers, Government subsidies and broader economic factors impacted uptake of VPP products.