AEMO partners on leading Western Australian DER orchestration pilot

2 min

In partnership with Synergy and Western Power, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) will help pave the way for consumer distributed energy resources (DER) to participate in a future energy market, with Project Symphony.

With funding support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) as part of ARENA’s Advancing Renewables Program, the two-year orchestration pilot of Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) will unlock greater economic, environmental and power system security benefits for the Western Australian (WA) community.

AEMO Executive General Manager in WA, Cameron Parrotte, said that the pilot is a community-scale VPP designed to ‘orchestrate’ approximately 900 DER assets such as rooftop solar, batteries, and large appliances across 500 homes and businesses.

“Located in one of Perth’s most prevalent solar districts of Southern River, with almost 50 per cent of households having rooftop solar, it will aggregate and then dispatch electricity generated by the DER assets to the network in the same way as a traditional power plant,” Mr Parrotte said.

“This pilot, which is a key deliverable of the WA Government’s DER Roadmap, will facilitate the industry collaboration and consumer input we need to ensure the WA community are the beneficiaries of secure, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy.”

In WA, more than one in three households now have rooftop solar installed, equivalent to almost two gigawatts of renewable energy generation, and this is projected to continue accelerating towards one in two households by 2030. Collectively, this represents the largest source of electricity generation on the South West Interconnected System (SWIS).

AEMO’s Manager, Distributed Markets WA, Tom Butler said that Project Symphony will provide valuable insights into the role that aggregated and orchestrated DER can play in addressing challenges to the power system, market and network as the system becomes more decentralized and decarbonized, such as low daytime demand and variable generation.

“Project Symphony will test not if, but how, we best implement the transition to a high DER future where DER orchestration is also being used in a commercial environment, where consumers can benefit from being active market participants” Mr Butler said.

AEMO’s role is to design and operate sustainable energy systems that provide safe, reliable and affordable energy today, and to enable the energy transition for the benefit of all Australians. In AEMO’s recent report: Renewable Energy Integration – SWIS Update it was outlined just how critical the effective integration of DER will be to securing the future of WA’s energy system. Project Symphony will be a major contributor to solving some of the biggest energy challenges that we face today and provide valuable insights for the future energy market.

For more information visit our web page where you can watch a short video of this exciting project.

Project Symphony is a collaboration between AEMO, Western Power, Synergy and the Western Australian Government being a key deliverable of the State’s Energy Transformation Strategy and DER Roadmap.

The funding from ARENA complements the collective funding already approved by the WA Government and the Economic Regulatory authority.

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