Project EDGE (Energy Demand and Generation Exchange) has moved a step closer to developing a two-sided marketplace for Distributed Energy Resources (DER), publishing two key project reports from the initial design and build phase.
The EDGE trial seeks to understand, test, and demonstrate a proof-of-concept marketplace that enables efficient and secure coordination of consumer solar panel and battery assets to provide wholesale and local network services while optimising the use of the distribution network.
This will allow cheaper electricity to be made available to consumers, improve electricity network reliability, and ensure consumers who have invested in renewable generation and storage can maximise the value of those investments.
Project EDGE is a collaboration between the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), AusNet Services (AusNet) and Mondo as project participants, with financial support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
The Public Interim Report summarises the key insights, challenges and learnings compiled over the initial 18-month period of the 3-year project, from participants and stakeholders during the development of the Research Plan and the EDGE Marketplace design process.
It also sets out the hypotheses for scalable data exchange that will be tested by the project and seeks to identify the approaches that can deliver long-term value to the national electricity system and all actors interacting with the DER Marketplace.
Understanding the consumer perspectives around incentives, challenges, and attitudes regarding their participation is critical to the successful establishment of a DER marketplace. Accordingly, developing detailed customer insights in that space is a principal deliverable for EDGE.
Deakin University has been engaged to run a multi-year consumer study for this purpose and have issued their initial Public Customer Insight and Engagement Study Interim Report. The study examines perceptions of, and decision-making around, virtual power plants (VPPs) among potential residential and business customers, and current residential battery owners.
Interviews with residents, businesses, and government representatives from the Hume region having varying experience with Virtual Power Plant trials revealed several key themes on participation, energy trading and using an energy aggregator.
Typically, residential interviewees noted that they sought to participate in Project EDGE to support community, help the environment, and enhancing energy self-sufficiency.
However, the immediate financial costs of participation – represented particularly by the cost of purchasing a battery – was seen as a significant barrier.
Interviewees were prepared to share or trade their energy only once their own household requirements were assured, and a number of interviewees wanted to place limits on who could receive this energy. At the same time, some interviewees were concerned that their current battery had insufficient capacity to meet their existing needs, let alone to be used to support trading.
Project EDGE has now moved into its operational phase with an established trial DER Marketplace operating around the clock and AEMO, AusNet and Mondo coordinating their systems and customer DER to complete field tests in line with the EDGE research plan. The project will onboard additional participants in the coming months.
To assist interested parties in understanding more about the content of these reports, the Project EDGE team will be holding two public webinars. We will present and discuss findings and key insights from the milestone reports at these sessions.
The Customer Insights Study Webinar will be held 2:00pm to 3:30pm (AEST) Tuesday 7 June and The Public Interim Report Webinar 2:00pm to 3:30pm (AEST) Thursday 9 June. Both webinars will be recorded and shared on the Project EDGE website.