Skip to Content
Project overview
  • Lead Organisation

    Institute for Sustainable Futures


    New South Wales
    South Australia

    ARENA Program

    Advancing Renewables Program

  • Start date

    19 February 2019

    End date

    15 April 2021

  • Project Partners
    Australian Alliance for Energy Productivity, Schneider Electric
    This renewables project was completed on 15 April 2021.


REALM is a feasibility study which demonstrates how optimally integrating on-site renewables, storage and energy productivity can reduce business costs and emissions, while simultaneously supporting the network.

This project will build a strong business case for REALM systems by:

  • Better understanding the scope, globally, of REALM for business
  • Demonstrating the potential for REALM to improve the financial case for renewable energy deployment
  • Determine the economic feasibility of 5 prospective pilots, to determine the best configuration and site(s)
  • Identify any technical, financial and/or policy barriers to optimal REALM deployments, and
  • Recommend an implementation path for the best pilots to validate the business cases.


A groundswell of business interest in renewable energy supply is growing, particularly on-site solar photovoltaics (PV). What is still missing is a strong understanding of how on-site renewables can best complement the site’s energy and load demand.

Project Innovation

Australian businesses are increasingly installing onsite renewable – generally solar photovoltaic (PV) – systems. However, none have integrated solar with cutting edge demand control, storage and other energy productivity measures. Optimising a REALM system offers significant potential to further decrease both the energy costs of the business and the grid.


This project will:

  • Demonstrate the application of energy storage, demand management, and smart controls with onsite renewables to allow flexible business electricity demand to, in turn, facilitate the integration of more renewables on the grid.
  • Build the case for a set of REALM pilots to:
    • show how an optimised REALM system is better than the sum of its parts to justify the value to individual businesses;
    • show how flexible demand can deliver value to the operation of electricity networks and how businesses can be appropriately rewarded for delivering these services e.g. through network tariffs, and
    • estimate the potential national benefits (economic and environmental) from deploying REALM systems across Australian businesses, and what would need to happen to accelerate the uptake of these projects e.g. changes to network tariffs.
  • Transfer findings to business to encourage replication of REALM projects.
Last updated 21 April 2021
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Back to top