Western Power is evolving and future-proofing the south west grid for the West Australian community through the use of emerging technologies like battery storage. We’re also continuing to connect an increasing mix of renewable energy. We’re developing innovative energy solutions so that businesses and homes can continue to access renewable energy, providing a greener energy future and sustainable energy supply for our customers.Our Flexibility Services Pilot aims to unlock a range of short and long-term benefits for our commercial and industrial partners by enabling them to gain greater value from their energy investments. For Western Power, it allows us to explore alternative option services to manage renewable power to support network stability.
We’re partnering with commercial and business customers to trial alternative options services - a first of its kind in Western Australia. The pilot aims to support commercial and industrial businesses to manage their distributed energy resources (DER) such as solar PV, batteries and manageable loads like heating and cooling systems for financial incentive while providing support for network stability. Businesses involved in the pilot will be requested to change their energy use and generation at specific times between 10am-2pm on a number of weekends in Spring 2020 and Autumn 2021.
Over 26 weekend days in Spring and Autumn when it is anticipated that we may experience low energy usage, pilot Participants will be requested to ‘shift’ their energy use. How they do that is determined by them to ensure each organisation’s plan is productive for them. This could include shutting off solar panels for a short period of time, so less solar is flows into the network or shifting an energy intensive activity to use more power at times of high solar generation.
The Flexibility Services Pilot is part of our vision to develop new technologies and tools to provide greater customer solutions and evolve the grid. This innovative journey has seen us deliver community batteries, stand-alone power systems, advanced metering infrastructure providing for a brighter, cleaner energy future for Western Australians.
The rapid and exciting growth of technologies, like solar panels and batteries, is changing the energy landscape. This process of shifting energy use with large customers has been successfully trialled and implemented in the United Kingdom and United States and has helped support network stability and the continued uptake of renewables.
Currently one-in-three households have solar panels in WA. At times there is very low energy demand and high solar generation - when it is sunny with little need for heaters, air conditioners and pool pumps - leading to two way power flow into the grid. In managing the grid, we actively balance the energy flow to keep energy running at optimal levels. Flexibility services is an alternative option for supporting grid stability and is one of several initiatives we are trialling and implementing to deliver greater customer choice while future proofing the network.