April 18, 2019: Power and gas organization Australian Energy Market Operator is set to run a trial virtual power plant integration project after it received A$2.46 million ($1.7 million) from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, the agency announced on April 5.
AEMO will run the trial over a 12-18 month period to demonstrate the operational capabilities of VPPs to deliver frequency control ancillary services, system security and deliver local network support services.
The VPP portfolio consists of distributed energy resources including rooftop solar, batteries and controllable behind-the-meter loads.
Existing pilot scale VPPs around Australia including the ARENA-funded AGL and Simply Energy pilot scale VPPs in South Australia have been invited to take part.
The organization will collect data to inform changes to regulatory settings and operational processes.
AEMO forecasts the scale of VPP capacity to rise from 5MW-10MW to 700MW by 2022.
ARENA CEO Darren Miller said the ability to test how VPPs operate within the market could maximize the benefit to consumers and to the power system.
He said: “This trial will allow us to learn how to better integrate larger scale VPPs in the coming years as we transition to a more decentralized energy system.
“VPPs have an important role to play in harnessing the collective potential of consumer owned energy assets like rooftop solar, batteries, smart appliances and electric vehicle charging. VPPs could see vast improvements in the reliability of the network.”