World-first marketplace to maximise value of renewables

by Corporate Waste Solutions
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The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is funding GreenSync to carry out the decentralised energy exchange (deX) project, which was developed through ARENA’s ‘A-Lab’ initiative.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht says funding projects like deX is delivering ARENA’s goal of accelerating Australia’s shift to renewable energy. “To smoothly transition to a renewable energy future, we need new technologies and markets,” Frischknecht says.

“In a win for energy consumers, deX will enable owners of solar and batteries to earn extra money for helping to keep the lights on by participating in the sizeable grid services market.

“Australia has world-leading levels of rooftop solar, however there’s currently no marketplace for consumers to access the full value of these systems.

“deX is a software-based marketplace that will, for the first time, allow households and businesses to trade the grid services their batteries and rooftop solar can provide with their local network operators,” Frischknecht says. “This could encourage more investment in solar and batteries, supporting the grid, reducing the need for infrastructure investment and ultimately reducing the cost of renewables in Australia.”

GreenSync is developing deX with open-source software and drawing on the capabilities of leading technology businesses, energy start-ups and electricity market participants. The trial could bring grid support trading into everyday utility operations and reduce the cost of these services.

ARENA is providing $450,000 funding to support the $930,200 project.

Frischknecht says the project showed how ARENA’s A-Lab innovation sandbox could develop new ideas into fully fledged, funded projects.

“ARENA is building on Australia’s rich history of invention by helping local companies develop world-leading renewable energy solutions,” says Frischknecht.

“deX was formed in A-Lab’s inaugural session in April 2016 and further developed in an intensive two-day workshop in July 2016.

“The A-Lab multi-stage innovation process is designed to operate in rapid cycles of ‘ideate, incubate and accelerate’. This unique approach seeks to foster breakthrough thinking on complex challenges facing the electricity sector.”

Dr Phil Blythe, founder and CEO of GreenSync, says the global energy industry was currently undergoing a major transition and the launch of deX was key to enabling the shift towards a decentralised energy system.

“Reliability of the energy system and delivering new value streams to consumers are key priorities driving deX. Homes and businesses will be able to monetise their solar and storage assets by essentially renting them to the grid when they’re most needed. deX will revolutionise peak electricity management and drive more effective investment in energy infrastructure.”

A range of industry partners are participating in the GreenSync project: Reposit Power, Mojo Power, United Energy, ActewAGL, Australian National University, and the ACT and Victorian Governments. The pilot will initially be carried out in two locations in the ACT and Victoria.

ActewAGL will be piloting deX with batteries deployed in the ACT Government’s Next Generation Energy Storage Program. The trial will demonstrate how market-integrated batteries can address grid constraints on segments of the network with very high levels of solar PV.

United Energy will be piloting deX in the lower Mornington Peninsula, which is forecast to experience network constraints caused by peak summer demand.

Image copyright: zstockphotos / 123RF Stock Photo

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