It is often assumed that an increased use of renewables will negatively impact on grid stability. So what if they are actually helping to improve our network reliability?
Melbourne based company GreenSync aims to make this a reality.
The company is leading the Decentralised Energy Exchange (deX) project, which will establish a prototype online marketplace where households and businesses with rooftop solar and battery storage systems can trade their energy assets.
The idea is that as network businesses access are able to access the many locally produced energy assets, for example at times of high demand, they could make the grid more secure and reliable.
It would sidestep a problem associated with the rise of the so called distributed energy resources (DER), which are thought to make the energy market more complex, and potentially less predicable.
And the energy ecosystem created by the deX project may promote a shift in the Australian energy market from a centralised to a decentralised model of power generation.
Households and businesses producing and storing solar energy, and who at present cannot participate with the energy market, would become part of the solution rather than the problem.
The project, a world-first, is likely to encourage more investment in solar batteries, and potentially will reduce the need for new infrastructure investment.
Ultimately this could reduce the cost of renewables in Australia, according to Ivor Frischknecht, the chief executive officer of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.
ARENA has committed $450,000 to the project, in which GreenSync is partnering with 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.