Project Symphony is ready to deliver insights for the future

2 min

Project Symphony is now live with over 300 customers and 650 customer owned distributed energy resources (DER) recruited to participate in Western Australia’s largest Virtual Power Plant (VPP).   

This important milestone marks the completion of the build and integration of the technology platforms, with the VPP entering a ‘stability period’ enabling the project to commence scenario testing to determine the services and potential value that the VPP can offer its customers, the power system and the wider community.

AEMO’s Executive General Manager for WA and Strategy, Kate Ryan said: “This is the first time ever in the Perth metropolitan area, that customer-owned energy resources including rooftop solar and batteries have been ‘orchestrated’ to test their ability in addressing system stability challenges, as we transition to a lower cost renewable energy future”.

“The scenario testing will be undertaken by the three partner organisations, AEMO as the market and system operator, Western Power as the distribution network service operator and Synergy as the aggregator. Central to the success of this pilot are the customers who have signed up their assets to be ‘orchestrated’ to participate in the pilot”. Ms Ryan said.

AEMO’s Manager WA Distributed Markets, Tom Butler, said: “Project Symphony is testing four different scenarios that will provide learnings and insights to inform future policy decisions, paving the way to become a fundamental part of the future energy market, whilst supporting the grid”.

“What is unique about Project Symphony is the potential value stacking of these services. The four testing scenarios have been designed to strengthen the network by optimising supply and demand in challenging operating conditions as well as providing affordable and low carbon energy to the wider community”. Mr Butler said.

Testing is now underway for two of the scenarios in a simulated Wholesale Electricity Market (WEM) where over 200 customer energy assets have been successfully ‘orchestrated’ as a single facility. These include Wholesale Energy Services where the VPP bids and dispatches in real time whilst Network Support Services helps manage local voltage to improve network reliability.

The number of assets will continue to scale with a Constrain to Zero scenario scheduled for testing in December and Contingency Raise frequency service following early in the new year.

Rigorous testing of all the scenarios will continue until April 2023 with key outcomes to be published by the end of 2023. 

The $35.5 million pilot is a key deliverable of the Distributed Energy Resources Roadmap, and is funded by the Western Australian Government, AEMO and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

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