Virtual Power Plant twice the Size of Tesla’s Big Battery

A Virtual Power Plant (VPP) is a cluster of medium-scale and decentralized and power supplying units. The integrated units are executed via the VPP’s central control room and yet remain autonomous in their possession and functioning. Through a smart distribution of power harvest from these individual units, it relieves the load on the grid, during periods of peak load. Also, the power consumption and combined power generation of the clustered units in the VPP is sold on the energy exchange. It consists of energy resource distribution framework, compliant power consumers and a central IT control system. It aims at a smooth integration of a high number of inexhaustible energy units towards existing energy systems. VPP takes over the part of traditional power plants by assuming responsibility for a balanced grid and selling their output on wholesale markets. Efficiency of such projects will be observed the most significant drive for the growth of global virtual power plant market. An ongoing research by Transparency Market Research expects that the global market for virtual power plants will witness a considerable surge in terms of value over the foreseeable future.

AEMO’s Announcement : According to a recent news, The Australian Energy Market Operator has planned to develop a virtual power plant with a demand response capacity of 200MW the size of which is dubbed to be twice that of Tesla’s Big Battery (a project considered as the world’s largest battery). This plant will be developed to cope with supply failures, heat waves, and blackouts, in the heat of summer. By the end of this summer, the outcome of the highly anticipated demand response tender will observe 143MW availability and the remaining by 2020 inclusive of AEMO’s competence to handle peak period of extreme demands and supply shortfalls, and transform the grid to a smarter, cleaner and faster machine. Control and storage technologies, a range of monitoring, and remuneration from businesses and large manufacturers that entail moderate demand are key features of the project.

Audrey Zibelman, the chief executive of AEMO, said that by November the project would be tested and will be working by December. She also revealed that these initiatives are likely to account for 30% of peak demand as it does in other countries. ARENA is expected to put forth $28.6 million to recompense the project’s operational costs while another $7.2 million will pitched in by the NSW government for their local 80MW projects. Energy retailers offering a range of services in international and Australian companies will be majorly assembling this project and will incorporate a range of services and technologies. Large-scale commercial and industrial businesses will partake in incentive exchanges.

Balanced Distribution and Monitoring

EnergyAustralia will be among the key winners as it will distribute 50MW in three states namely, 20MW in New South Wales, 9MW in Victoria, and 11 MW in Australia and will be used across commercial and industrial businesses, as well as residential customers. To reduce the voltage globally, voltage control devices that are set up across substations in Mornington Peninsula and Melbourne will be used by United Energy. Smart meters that ensure the voltage stays at a safe, allowable delivery limit of 30MW will be used by United Energy. Intercast & Forge, a metal foundry based in South Australia, was the prime energy user to grab such a contract directly, and has installed sophisticated energy systems allowing it to deliver the dispatchable demand response by reducing the furnace power during peak events.

The Powershop as an initiative will motivate customers to control the usage of power reducing energy for 1-4 hours equaling the free electricity of a weekend. As a backup, 1MW will be harvested from Reposit-enabled batteries, which will be installed in the homes of Powershop customers, wherein in 1 MW co-generation facility will be drawn at Monash University.

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Nikhil Kaitwade

With over 8 years of experience in market research and consulting industry, Nikhil has worked on more than 250 research assignments pertaining to chemicals, materials and energy sector. He has worked directly with about 35 reputed companies as lead consultant for plant expansion, product positioning, capacity factor analysis, new market/segment exploration, export market opportunity evaluation and sourcing strategies.