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Distributed energy

Advanced VPP grid integration

  • $1.03m

    ARENA Funding

  • $2.11m

    Total Project Value

  • Project basics

    ARENA Program

    Advancing renewables

    Lead Organisation

    SA Power Networks

    Start Date

    Jan 2019

    Project Partners

    Tesla Motors Australia, CSIRO

    Location

    South Australia

    Status

    Current

Project Basics

ARENA Program

Advancing renewables

Lead Organisation

SA Power Networks

Start Date

Jan 2019

Project Partners

Tesla Motors Australia, CSIRO

Location

South Australia

Status

Current

Summary

The advanced VPP grid integration project aims to show how higher levels of energy exports to the grid from customer solar and battery systems can be enabled through dynamic, rather than fixed, export limits, and to test the value this can create for customers and Virtual Power Plant (VPP) operators.

How the project works

The project will introduce an interface (API) to exchange real-time and locational data on distribution network constraints between SA Power Networks and the Tesla South Australian VPP, enabling the VPP to optimise its output to make use of available network capacity. This concept will be tested in a field trial over 12-months.

Area of innovation

Recent work by the Australian Energy Market Commission, and the joint Energy Networks Australia/Australian Energy Market Operator Open Energy Networks project has recognised the dynamic management of distribution network capacity is a key requirement to unlock the full value of VPPs and other distributed energy resources. This project will be the first to demonstrate this concept in operation with a real VPP that is actively participating in the market, and to seek to measure the real-world costs and benefits of this approach.

Benefit

The intention is to enable the VPP to operate at higher levels of export power than would otherwise be allowed under normal fixed per-site export limits. In principle, this could double the VPP’s maximum export capacity at certain times, enabling the VPP to provide greater market and system-wide benefits. The learnings from this project could help develop a consistent national approach, and potentially a standard API, for VPP aggregators to access advanced network integration services from distribution networks across the National Electricity Market.

SAPN

Contact information

Bryn Williams, Future Network Strategy Manager

bryn.williams@sapowernetworks.com.au