Power company AGL has announced that it has put a 5 MW virtual solar power station into operation in Adelaide in South Australia. It said that this is the world’s largest residential virtual power plant, linking together solar panels and battery storage at hundreds of properties.
Andy Vesey, Managing Director and CEO of AGL, said: “Our South Australian VPP demonstration is a practical example of the new energy future. We believe the VPP will deliver benefits by providing another source of generation to deploy into the network.” He also said that the environment would benefit from reduced emissions.
AGL said that the Australian Federal Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), was providing up to $5 million to support the $20 million project.
AGL said that this project was different to standard home battery storage because the batteries’ operation can be directed remotely. As well as being used to help power the home they are in, they can also be directed – all at once – to service the grid when overall system stability or reliability is under pressure. The virtual power plant is being rolled out in three phases over about 18 months.
AGL said 1000 batteries were expected to be deployed across metropolitan Adelaide by next year.