Virtual power

Solar Service Group (Solar SG), Australia’s leading solar battery storage provider, has teamed up with Evergen to create the world’s largest virtual power plant (VPP).

The partnership aims to combine Evergen’s optimisation technology and ability to orchestrate VPPs via microgrids and demand response networks, with Solar SG’s expertise in developing and distributing battery storage systems.

Solar SG leads the market under its Solar Service Group, Sunbank Solar and SouthAus Solar banners and has helped transform the burgeoning solar battery storage market in Australia.

Solar SG chairman, Rod Woolley, said, “With more than 8000 batteries installed nationally already, our current and future customers will benefit from Evergen’s world class optimisation software.

“The fruit of years of R&D and data analytics, our partnership will enable all Evergen and Solar SG customers to be connected to energy markets, generating additional savings from participating in grid-scale initiatives. This will dramatically reduce the payback period for consumers and provide concurrent benefits for the network and other energy consumers.”

Mr Woolley said that most VPP trials had experienced mixed success. 

“The theory was that if you built a great model, the customers would come – except they didn’t. We’re starting from the other end of the equation, with an extensive and enthusiastic customer base on which we’ve built our business case. This is a direct outcome of the decades of industry experience of our Directors.”

Evergen, CEO and Managing Director, Ben Hutt, said, “After various trial programs around the country, this partnership with Solar SG and Evergen now puts us in a position to take our proposition nationwide to our combined network of customers. Blending Solar SG’s excellence in research and marketing and national deployed fleet together with Evergen’s software, backed by CSIRO, this will be the biggest single fleet of batteries globally.”

He said consumers would enjoy significant cost savings through VPPs by trading the excess energy in their batteries to benefit the network and other energy consumers. “This is a revolutionary way of supporting the grid, unlocking energy savings for customers and helping to lower our carbon footprint.”

Both Solar SG and Evergen predict their initiative will further support the mass adoption of batteries as part of network infrastructure and help fast-track the transition to a zero-carbon energy structure.

The first stage of the initiative will be launched to Solar SG customers in Q1 2020.

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