Written by Stephen Pritchard, Senior Electrical Engineer, Evergen
Western Australia presents one of the biggest opportunities for embracing solar in Australia, and the state is quick on the uptake. Households in WA are installing rooftop solar at a rapid rate of 3,000 dwellings per month, which has added 191 megawatts of generating capacity to rooftops in just the last year. This now means that approximately 36 per cent of homes in WA have their own solar generation systems.
But as WA’s residents embrace greener energy options, there remains challenges when it comes to managing peak times and creating a stable grid.
In September this year it was announced that Evergen will be partnering with WA’s largest energy provider, Synergy, in a pilot project that is set to support WA residents in the State’s shift towards greener energy production and consumption called Project Symphony.
Project Symphony is a collaboration between Synergy, Western Power and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), and is supported by Energy Policy WA. The pilot program is due to run until September 2023 and will coordinate eligible Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) like rooftop solar, batteries and selected household appliances as part of a Virtual Power Plant (VPP).
The overall objective of Project Symphony is to better understand how DERs can be integrated to provide a safe, reliable and efficient electricity system, where the full capabilities of DERs can provide sustainable benefits and value to all customers.
As a software and cloud platform that enables the monitoring, control, optimisation and orchestration of DERs, Evergen will be enrolling homes into the program who wish to take part in the pilot.
We provide value to solar-battery households by monitoring and optimising to maximise the value and performance of their system. It’s something we’ve been doing for households around Australia for years, and we’re constantly evolving and improving our approach.
We give each individual customer their own optimisation plan, tailored to their patterns of consumption, generation, and local weather. The capabilities we’ve established along the way allow us to smoothly integrate with Synergy so that households can now also be rewarded for providing grid support services too. Instead of being passive consumers, this project allows customers to become active participants in the broader energy market.
The VPP will orchestrate and aggregate the connected DERs to generate and store electricity at a local level. By operating these DER in unison, they can function almost like a power station, one that can quickly respond to the peaks and troughs of electricity demand across the grid. The focus is initially in the Perth region, with the potential to benefit the wider WA community in the future.
The selected suburbs are leading the way in terms of uptake of renewable energy, with more than 50 per cent of homes equipped with rooftop solar. This offers an ideal testing ground to discover how existing DER assets can be used to manage system security and reduce carbon emissions across WA.
At Evergen, we’re excited to invest in WA’s flagship VPP partnership and contribute to the research and development of greener communities across the state.