The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has partnered up with AusNet Services and Mondo, with financial support from Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), to launch a marketplace trial.
Project EDGE offers eligible residents in north-east Victoria an off-market platform to trade electricity and grid services from their distributed energy resources (DER), such as rooftop solar and batteries, similar to large-scale participants in the National Electricity Market (NEM).
AEMO Executive General Manager, Emerging Markets and Services, Violette Mouchaileh, said that the trial will help develop a world-first two-way market, whereby aggregated services from consumers’ energy resources are bought and sold to improve electricity reliability, security and affordability for consumers.
“AEMO is working with the industry to design and test a world-first, two-way energy system and sophisticated market for consumers to participate in the NEM,” Ms Mouchaileh said.
“Our trial with AusNet Service and Mondo, and financial support from ARENA, will facilitate the trading of aggregated electricity services from energy devices in people’s homes and businesses in north-east Victoria.
“The trials forms part of AEMO’s DER Program to enable a smooth transition from a one-way energy supply chain, to a world-leading system that maximises the value of DER for all consumers through effectively integrating DER into the NEM power system and markets.”
The project will also focus on developing out the roles and responsibilities of market participants including distributed network service providers (DNSPs), such as AusNet Services, and aggregators, such as Mondo, that engage in power system markets on consumers’ behalf. Over time it is the aim of the project to engage with additional networks and aggregators.
ARENA CEO, Darren Miller, said this landmark trial would provide the blueprint for integrating DER into the grid.
“This trial will help to develop trading mechanisms to maximise the economic benefits to customers and the system and minimise the costs of supply to all energy customers,” Mr Miller said.
“We look forward to the project developing a marketplace for the services these technologies can provide, and paving the way for widespread adoption by other distribution networks across Australia.”
AusNet Services Executive GM of Growth and Future Networks, Chad Hymas, said, “Australians have clearly embraced rooftop solar and have a growing appetite for DER.
“This trial aims to demonstrate how they can have even more choice when it comes to energy for our homes and businesses.
“The AusNet Services and Mondo teams are excited to be using our locally developed energy management technology to demonstrate how a future energy market can support fully realising the financial and environmental benefits of all our energy resources.”
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, said the trial will help to reduce electricity costs and manage challenges associated with a decentralised grid.
“This microgrid project gives control back to the consumer,” Mr Taylor said.
“As more and more people install rooftop solar and smart energy appliances in their homes and businesses, it is important to find the best way of managing the new technologies to ensure the grid and electricity supplies remain reliable.
“If successful, the project will become a model for integrating DER into the National Electricity Market.”
The Government has provided $12.9 million in funding to AEMO through ARENA to become a partner in the $28 million project, alongside electricity network AustNet Services and retailer Mondo Power.
The ARENA funding will support the development of market software and systems to underpin the integration of distributed energy resources in the grid.