ARENA invests $15 million in demand response pilot


According to a statement, $7.5 million of the funding to deploy the demand response pilot programme will be provided by the New South Wales (NSW) state government.

The $15 million will bring the total amount of funds raised by ARENA to deploy the demand response pilot programme to $37.5 million.

The pilot will be deployed by ARENA in partnership with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) as from this summer through to 2020 under a MoU signed by the two organisations in May.

Under the demand response pilot programme, ARENA and AEMO aim to save 6070MW of demand response capacity to stabilise the region’s grid network and avoid unplanned power outages.

Consumers will be equipped with onsite energy generation equipment, battery storage systems, smart thermostats, smart metering technologies and software to manage their energy consumption in real-time.

Participating consumers will be rewarded for reducing their energy usage during peak demand periods.

The project is in line with recommendations set by the NSW Energy Security Taskforce for the Australian government to use demand response initiatives to reduce energy demand, reliance on fossil fuels and improve the country’s renewable energy portfolio.

Don Harwin, the minister of energy in NSW, commented: “We need national market reform through the Finkel Review to secure a clean, affordable and reliable energy future. Part of that is reforming the market so we have smarter ways to ensure security, and this pilot will help accelerate the case for national reform.”

Ivor Frischknecht, CEO of ARENA, added: “With the support of the NSW Government, we are able to scale up the pilot program by more than 50% which we expect will offer more than 160 megawatts of innovative demand response across the National Electricity Market ­ of which more than a third will be available for NSW.”

Smart grid investments

In mid-March, the South Australian government revealed its energy budget of $423 million toward investments in stabilising grid networks and minimising the impact of power outages.

The $423 million energy plan is expected to improve research, development and adoption of smart grid solutions and new utility business models in South Australia.

The Australian state government will use the funds to develop new energy generation resources to reduce its energy imports. Read more…


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