Shining a spotlight on Virtual Power Plant

What is a VPP, how does it work and what are the benefits? We also look at the customer benefit of AGL's Virtual Power Plant in South Australia.

A Virtual Power Plant (VPP) is a network of connected solar batteries that communicate with each other to turn into a pop-up powerplant.

It’s a community-based solution to reduce pressure on the grid and helps to create a future where energy is more affordable and renewable.

How does it work?

Traditionally, energy is pulled from one centralised place – like a wind farm or a coal-fired power station to keep power running at home.


The VPP is unique because it draws power from many different sources, such as solar batteries in households and small businesses.

When rooftop solar panels soak up the daytime sun, batteries can store that energy. Then when the sun goes down, that stored energy can power households. So when there’s a high demand on the grid, instead of pulling from a generation site, cloud-based software means the community can pull supply from these individual connected batteries.

AGL's South Australian VPP

In 2016, AGL launched a VPP in Adelaide, South Australia, in partnership with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). When it was launched it was the largest retailer-led residential VPP in the world: boasting 1000 solar batteries, all talking to each other through a cloud-based platform.

South Australian VPP members like Geoff were excited to get on board with this community-based power revolution. And thanks to its success, a large-scale trial has been rolled out to other states, including New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland.

Join the community power revolution

AGL can help you install a solar system and battery so you can join the VPP’s growing network today.

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