New trial launched to empower mini power plants

Endeavour Energy, trial

Endeavour Energy has joined an innovative trial of new ways to monitor and control its network to keep downward pressure on electricity prices and smooth the transition to a cleaner energy future.

The trial is being co-funded with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the NSW Department of Planning & Environment to maintain affordable and reliable power supply by better managing the energy supplied from customers’ solar and battery systems.

“We want to keep our customers electricity costs as low as possible while delivering a safe and reliable network ready for a vastly different future,” Endeavour Energy’s general manager Asset Management Ty Christopher said.

“Our industry is rapidly transforming as homes and businesses install solar, battery storage and smart electronic devices in ever-increasing numbers to get the best prices, improve their energy efficiency and store and generate their own electricity.

“In future, we will need to manage power flows to, from and between customers and our network, while still maintaining the reliability and stability of power supply for all customers.

Related article: Esperance farmers get micro power systems

Mr Christopher said the trial would help identify where network upgrades were required and co-ordinate power flows in those areas with a high penetration of customer solar and battery systems.

“This trial will develop the systems required to send signals to customers on how much electricity they can export to avoid more expensive network investment.

“Our network now has more than 130,000 customers with solar systems connected, with home batteries and electric vehicles likely to be adopted in larger numbers in the near future.

Related article: South Australia to build world’s largest virtual power plant

“We want to better understand the impact of this uptake of new technologies to maintain the reliability and quality of power supply across our network.

“This will deliver more targeted investments to our electricity network which keeps downward pressure on our network charges and saves customers money.

“It will also help customers get the most from their investment in solar, batteries and electric vehicles by using the capacity already in our network to share energy amongst themselves.”

The trial is being delivered by Zeppelin Bend Pty Ltd and the Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program at The Australian National University in cooperation with Endeavour Energy, Essential Energy and Ausgrid and will be completed by 2022.