The EnergyAustralia Demand Response Program (DR) program is one of 10 flagship projects supported by the joint ARENA and AEMO $35.7 million DR Initiative, along with support from the NSW Government.
The program began in December 2017 and involves the deployment of 18 MW of DR in NSW, increasing to 20 MW in years two and three. The program also involves 20 MW of DR in VIC/SA in year one, increasing to 30 MW in years two and three.
During times of critically low reserves, AEMO will call upon EnergyAustralia to deliver the reserve capacity through a combination of direct load control and behavioural demand response.
- EnergyAustralia ran its first large scale residential behavioural demand response test event in November 2020 with almost 100,000 customers invited to participate. Under the trial, EnergyAustralia removed 55 MW from the grid against a target of 50 MW.
- Only 6% of customers chose to opt out of participating in the test event, demonstrating that customers understand the benefits of participating and can collectively support the grid when there is a need.
- EnergyAustralia also successfully trialled a behavioural demand response product for small business customers, which was based on the PowerResponse residential product. Through these programs and others including battery VPP and C&I initiatives, EnergyAustralia’s participation in the ARENA Demand Response program will improve customer value and the energy landscape for years to come.
How the project works
The EnergyAustralia Demand Response Program project sees demand response working with household, commercial and industrial customers to deliver reserve capacity. In exchange for participating in DR events, customers are enrolled in incentive programs and receive a benefit for their efforts.
EnergyAustralia is leveraging the strengths of existing DR knowledge and technologies to provide tailor-made services to household, commercial and industrial customers. This includes emerging DR mechanisms, such as voluntary behavioural demand response, direct load control, and on-site generation and battery storage. A key success has been establishing commercial-scale behavioural demand response at multiple locations with different capabilities under a single unified platform. EnergyAustralia is also trialling the additional conversion of existing diesel gensets to 100% renewable biofuels at a commercial scale.
Area of innovation
The success of EnergyAustralia’s DR project is not committed to a specific technology, rather it leverages the strengths of many options to fit the needs of customers. By trialling multiple, fit-for-purpose approaches, EnergyAustralia hope to unlock mutual benefits for households, larger-scale customers, and retailers alike.
The program will help to provide insight into consumer engagement in demand response activities, and whether demand response can assist in maintaining a stable electricity grid in the National Electricity Market.
Note: Funding for this project is inclusive of NSW, VIC and SA.
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