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Project overview
  • Lead Organisation

    United Energy Distribution Pty Ltd


    Mount Waverly

    ARENA Program

    Advancing Renewables Program

  • Start date

    1 March 2024

    End date

    29 May 2026

  • Project Partners
    CKI Utilities Development Limited & Others trading as South Australia Power Networks
    CitiPower Pty Ltd
    Powercor Australia Ltd
    Quantum Market Research (Aust) Pty. Ltd.


United Energy will demonstrate how distribution network service providers (DNSPs) can use controlled hot water loads and solar inverters to manage minimum system demand through its Flexible Services Trial.

Flexible solar export will also be explored, in addition the investigation and identification of functional requirements of a Low Voltage Distributed Energy Resources Management System to help enrol and manage customer devices at scale.


The growing number of rooftop solar systems connected to the electricity distribution network is reducing demand in the middle of the day. Without intervention, this will lead to system instability, increasing the need for an emergency backstop mechanism to reduce solar export limits and other controls to balance supply and demand.  

This project seeks to develop commercially feasibility approaches to addressing minimum system demand. Both controlled hot water and rooftop solar curtailment have been identified as low-cost solutions capable of addressing minimum demand. 

With more of Australia’s electricity coming from variable sources like wind and solar, flexible services will provide United Energy with options to shift the consumption of customer energy resources to periods of low demand.  


  • Develop options to manage minimum demand, leveraging United Energy’s smart meter capability to co-ordinate the timing of controlled hot water loads  
  • Shift controlled hot water loads to the middle of the day across a growing number of customers to determine the level of flexible capacity available 
  • Measure the financial and non-financial impacts to customers through limited trials  
  • Develop a customer engagement methodology to support the scale up of the hot water load control trial. 
  • Offer dynamic operating envelopes (DOE’s) to a limited number of residential and commercial and industrial (C&I) customers to develop the DNSP’s service capability 
  • Develop the capability to offer flexible export connections that are, on average, higher than static export limits  
  • Identify LV DERMS capability requirements to assist the connection of customers at scale and enable United Energy’s capability to control rooftop solar and respond to minimum demand events. 
  • Identify processes to support the seamless connection of flexible solutions and undertake market evaluate to identify a scalable system  


The Flexible Services Trial will achieve the following outcomes: 

  • demonstrate how DNSPs can support customers and the grid by integrating more renewables to the grid through unlocking HWLC flexible demand capacity;  
  • increase and quantify the value available for customers and the network through improved hot water control 
  • improve the understanding of how DNSPs can engage with customers to support the uptake of HWLC, solar management and flexible demand
Last updated
29 May 2024
Last updated 29 May 2024
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