Red roofs crowned with solar panels have long been part of the Australian suburban landscape and rightly so, when you think about how much sunshine beats down across this great southern land.
However, the satisfaction of generating your own electricity is restricted by the limitations of traditional solar. When the sun is shining you are not always home to use the electricity those solar panels have been busy producing. Then, at night when you want to make dinner, watch TV or put some lights on, the sun’s not out so you need to draw electricity from the grid, which costs money.
So what’s the solution? By connecting your solar PV system to an energy storage system, you can also use the electricity their solar panels have generated at a later time. Plus, during a blackout, you’ll have peace of mind.
After securing ARENA funding, our $23 million Virtual Power Plant (VPP) Project is underway to connect energy storage systems of up to 1,200 South Australian households, representing 6MW of energy storage.
To form the Virtual Power Plant, Simply Energy connects customers’ energy storage systems to other systems we manage. The VPP has the technology to charge or discharge electricity to help support the grid when needed. For example, when most people come home to a hot house on a summer’s day they intuitively switch on their air conditioning. When a lot of people switch on their air conditioning at the same time this can create a large and sudden surge in demand, potentially destabilising the local or state grid, or lead to high energy prices for short periods of time. Simply Energy’s VPP could be used in this instance to temporarily discharge energy into the grid to help it cope with this surge in demand.
This activity received funding from ARENA as part of ARENA’s Advancing Renewables Programme.