Flexible Power – Amp X Digital Energy Innovation Supports Grid Stability in Australia
Edinburgh, UK, 05 January 2023 – Technology developed by UK-based digital energy platform, Amp X, is being used to enhance the security of the power grid in Australia. Australian Energy Market Operator, AEMO, called for additional reserve capacity from energy providers after it identified a potential shortfall in Western Australia (WA)’s power reserves over the summer months, posing a risk of shortages and blackouts during peak periods of demand for electricity.
Amp X has partnered with Plico, a WA-based provider of solar power and battery storage equipment to residential properties, to respond to the call from AEMO with a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) solution – the first of its kind in Western Australia. Plico’s VPP relies on Amp X’s digital energy platform to manage and dispatch additional power from hundreds of Plico battery storage systems, whilst participating households receive a financial benefit for helping to stabilise the grid.
The Amp X platform will enable individual Plico batteries in hundreds of their customers’ homes throughout Western Australia to function together as one giant battery, storing electricity when there is an abundance of renewable energy production, then sending it back onto the grid at times of high demand. The householders will receive payments whenever their battery supports the system in this way.
The Head of Amp X, Dr. Irene Di Martino, said, “We are thrilled to be working with Plico on Western Australia’s first live behind-the-meter VPP. Governments, regulators and utility companies around the world have highlighted the economic and climate benefits of engaging consumers in the provision of flexibility to the grid. We are excited to partner with Plico and demonstrate how residential consumers can support grid stability and enhance system security.”
Plico’s battery fleet comprises an aggregated capacity of 8MWh. It is supported by Redback Technologies, creators of the Smart Hybrid Inverter deployed in Plico’s systems, and Amp X’s proprietary digital energy platform which monitors, controls and optimises the operation of the Virtual Power Plant.
On days when demand for electricity is forecast to exceed supply, AEMO will direct Plico to activate the VPP. Using the Amp X digital platform, Plico will remotely assume control of their customers’ batteries, instructing them to store energy during the day. As directed by AEMO, Plico batteries will then be able to export the stored energy back to the grid later in the day over the peak demand period between 5pm and 9pm.
Plico customers will be reimbursed double the cost for the energy stored in their battery and for any energy purchased from the grid during the activation.
Plico is building the sustainable energy grid of the future. Plico provides its members with a solar and battery solution on a subscription basis, with no big upfront costs. Delivered by Starling Energy Group and partnered with SUSI Partners, the project allows members (currently from communities across WA, but ultimately across Australia) to generate and consume their own clean power, with each individual system aggregated back into a virtual power plant (VPP) which feeds back into the local energy grid. Plico’s vision is to be the largest community owned energy company in the world.
AEMO manages electricity and gas systems and markets across Australia, helping to ensure Australians have access to affordable, secure and reliable energy. AEMO requested expressions of interest from suppliers in supporting the grid during summer.
ABOUT AMP X
Amp X is a UK-registered subsidiary of Amp Energy, a global developer of energy transition infrastructure including wind, solar and battery storage assets.
Amp X was created to deliver a disruptive, grid-edge digital platform allowing all forms of distributed generation and load to make a dynamic contribution in the relevant power markets, whether as an individual unit or as an aggregated group of assets, providing flexibility, resilience and system stability at the lowest possible price. Amp X has developed a number of digital technology-based products including a proprietary smart transformer (Smart Tx – a next-generation smart transformer), as well as an in-home digital energy assistant called ALICE (Agent for Lifestyle-Based Intelligent Control of Energy), which optimises energy consumption for householders and enables them to participate in energy and flexibility markets. Amp X also has a Virtual Power Plant solution in commercial operation across a number of front-of-the-meter assets owned by Amp in North America.
For more information, please contact:
John Prime, Head of External & Regulatory Affairs, Amp X