AEMO announces open-source operating system for world-leading distributed energy marketplace design trial

World-first global partnership includes Energy Web (to provide the open-source data exchange system), Microsoft (to provide cloud services), and PXiSE (to provide market logic software), with local aggregators (Mondo) and network operators(AusNet)

Zug, Switzerland — 2 September 2021 —
Australian power system and market operator, Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has announced the architecture and technology partners for Project EDGE — a flagship initiative enabling distributed energy resources (DER) to provide for both wholesale and local network services at enterprise scale within an off-market trial environment. The DER Marketplace solution will be developed in partnership with local market participants AusNet Services, Mondo and global technology vendors, including Energy Web, PXiSE, and Microsoft.

Australia leads the world in adoption and deployment of distributed energy resources (DER), with nearly one in four homes featuring rooftop solar, and 40% in some states (South Australia and Queensland).

Combined with the rapid growth of energy storage, demand-side management, and utility-scale renewable generation, the Australian grid is transforming to a decentralised system in which consumer owned DER play a pivotal role. This has created challenges for AEMO and distribution network operators in balancing and protecting the grid, but also creates new opportunities for consumers and other market participants to create value via supporting the energy transition with their DER.

In response, AEMO has established a DER program to enable the transition from one-way energy supply to a world-leading system that maximises the value of DER for all consumers through digitisation and integration of DER into Australia’s power systems and markets.

Under project EDGE, AEMO is collaborating with Mondo and AusNet Services, with input from the broader energy industry, to demonstrate via a proof-of-concept trial, how aggregated fleets of DER can deliver multiple energy services at scale both wholesale power system and local network levels.

This project will provide AEMO and its partners with technical and operational experience to inform evidence-based changes to regulatory and operational processes to effectively manage Australian electricity grids and markets with increasing levels of DER participation. Additionally, EDGE will focus specifically on understanding consumers’ perspectives and preferences in selling their DER capacity to Aggregators for use in energy markets.

Project EDGE is focused on streamlining data exchange among market participants to maximise utilisation and coordination of DER for providing multiple grid services, informing capability for scalability. Project EDGE is testing this capability with up to 10MW of DER capacity, made up of approximately 1,000 customers.

The DER Marketplace will be underpinned by Energy Web’s open-source operating system, which will be used to establish digital identities for all assets and market participants in the program. This identity-based architecture facilitates secure, efficient exchange and validation of DER data amongst market participants using digital infrastructure shared amongst Australian market participants.

The market intelligence and logic layer will be provided by PXiSE, and the solution will leverage Microsoft Azure cloud computing resources. EDGE’s DER Marketplace will deliver three core function sets:

1:Efficient and scalable DER data exchange between actors through use of self-sovereign identities anchored to a digital infrastructure that in future, could be shared between market participants;

2:Wholesale integration: DER Fleets will be dispatched as if they are participating in existing wholesale markets, while considering Distribution Network Limits in the dispatch process; and

3:Local Services Exchange — the Marketplace will facilitate visible, scalable and competitive trade of Local DER Services that enables Distribution Network Service Providers (DNSPs) to manage local power security and reliability and enables DER Aggregators to stack local and wholesale value streams efficiently.

As DER deployment accelerates across Australia, coordinating DER across market participant operating systems and participating prosumers has become a significant challenge. Project EDGE will provide evidence to support decisions relating to investment in digital operating system and the underlying design of data exchange systems.

Australia’s EDGE project will begin testing services in April 2022, with project completion in March 2023.

AEMO Chief Markets Officer, Member Services, Violette Mouchaileh, said “Project EDGE aims to build understanding of and inform the most efficient and sustainable way to integrate DER into the electricity system and markets, allowing all consumers to benefit from a future with high levels of DER. There is no existing product that meets all high-level requirements for the DER Marketplace, so Project EDGE is at the leading edge of product development in this space.”

The EDGE Project is being supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), with AEMO receiving almost $13 million in funding for the project. ARENA CEO Darren Miller said at the time that this landmark trial would provide the blueprint for integrating DER into the grid.

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