AGL completes installation of 1000th battery in Virtual Power Plant

AGL today announced it had completed the installation of the 1,000th battery in its ground-breaking Virtual Power Plant (VPP) project.

AGL General Manager Distributed Energy Dominique Van Den Berg, said this was a significant achievement for the project, which connects the energy storage systems of homes and businesses in Adelaide in a smart network that supports the electricity grid when demand is high while helping customers reduce their bills.

“We are proud to have reached the milestone of having 1,000 batteries in the VPP, which was a world first when announced, and is now the largest VPP of its kind operating in Australia,” Ms Van Den Berg said.

“Customers received a discount on the purchase of their systems and achieved significant savings by taking energy from their batteries rather than drawing electricity from the grid.

“We wish to thank everyone involved including the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), which provided $5 million of funding and has been a very supportive partner.

“The five megawatt (MW) project was ground-breaking when it was announced and, as a result of the rapid advances in hardware and software, it has the most advanced VPP technology available in the market today.

“Orchestrating these systems as a Virtual Power Plant enables us to share additional value with customers and is also a great example of the innovative culture we are fostering at AGL.”

Ms Van Den Berg said the knowledge gained from operating the VPP had helped AGL develop two new battery offers which have been recently launched to customers.

“The first offer, for customers in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and South Australia who already have batteries, provides up to $280 in bill credits over the first 12 months if they bring their batteries into the VPP,” she said.

“The second offer, for customers who want to buy batteries, provides them with a subsidy of up to $6,000 from the South Australian Government for a new battery and a payment of $1,000 from AGL when connecting the battery to the VPP.”

AGL customer Glen Simpson estimated his annual electricity bill could halve as a result of the installation of a battery at his Adelaide home.

“As we are fairly high consumers of power it was just logical to me to offset as much of the grid power as I could,” Mr Simpson said.

“Instead of just exporting energy to the grid during the day we can store the energy and use it during the evening when the sun isn’t shining. It’s also great to know that the battery can be used to support the grid in times of high demand.”