Australian Energy Market Operator partners with Energy Web on Project Symphony, a future-proofed solution for renewable energy integration
A two-year pilot is demonstrating the future of energy system operation for more stable, reliable, and cost-effective renewable energy.
Perth, Australia, and Zug, Switzerland, 6 April 2022 — Energy Web, the non-profit building operating systems for energy grids, is proud to announce its collaboration with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) on Project Symphony, an innovative project which adds consumer-owned Distributed Energy Resources (DER), like rooftop solar, to a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) to enable participation in a future energy market. The project, a collaboration between Western Power as project lead, AEMO, Synergy and the Western Australian Government, aims to provide greater grid stability and security while unlocking economic and environmental benefits for customers and their communities.
In Western Australia, more than 1 in 3 households have rooftop solar installed, with a predicted increase to 1 in 2 by 2030. While this uptake creates value for customers and accelerates the decarbonization of the energy grid, it also presents risks to power system security and reliability. Issues like low minimum demand and variable generation arise, as the grid receives excess energy in the middle of the day while demand is low, with demand increasing in the evenings when supply from rooftop solar decreases.
Project Symphony will see approximately 900 DERs across 500 homes and businesses orchestrated into a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) which can generate and store electricity at a local level. The project will allow for the aggregation of all generated energy, optimized storage, distribution, and sale of that energy in manner similar to a traditional power plant. Initially running in an off-market environment, VPPs will eventually enable DER owners to sell excess energy back to the grid via an aggregator. Project Symphony will run for a pilot period of two years in Southern River in Perth, with the learnings informing the future implementation of DER orchestration projects in Western Australia.
Energy Web will deliver the data exchange component required for aggregators to access the market. Energy Web’s blockchain-backed operating system can assign digital identities to participants, facilitating the secure and efficient exchange and validation of market participant data. Energy Web is also working with AEMO on Project EDGE, a DER marketplace solution for Eastern Australia.
“Project Symphony models the future of DER integration into energy markets, in a format that can be replicated for energy systems worldwide”, said Jesse Morris. “Market and system operators everywhere should welcome the uptake of personal renewable energy as part of the energy transition, but we need a system that can accommodate this rapid growth — in parts of Western Australia, around 3,000 households are adding a new system each month. No such software system currently exists. We’re proud to be working with the partners on Project Symphony to play a role in enabling Australia’s energy transition to maximize the value of DER for consumers.”
“By informing the blueprint for a solution designed for the modern energy market, where DER can be actively integrated and appropriately leveraged, Project Symphony will bring us closer to a future where the full capabilities of DER can be harnessed to deliver sustainable value to all customers and to the stability of the power system”, said Bruce Redmond, DER Product Owner at AEMO. “Energy Web’s leading-edge open-source digital technologies help us to design a market fit for the future.”
Project Symphony is a flagship project under the Western Australian Government’s Distributed Energy Resources Roadmap, a program for enabling the transition to a highly distributed energy future. Energy Web are supporting Western Power, acting as the Distribution System Operator, AEMO, acting as the Distribution Market Operator, and Synergy, acting as DER aggregator to facilitate data sharing between project platforms to deliver the end-to-end solution.
Project Symphony is enabled by $35m in funding, derived from $19.3m in Western Australian state funding, $7.6m in funding from AEMO, and $8.6m from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) as part of ARENA’s Advanced Renewables Program.
About Energy Web
Energy Web is a global, member-driven non-profit accelerating the low-carbon, customer-centric energy transition by unleashing the potential of open-source, digital technologies. Our Energy Web Decentralized Operating System (EW-DOS) enables any energy asset, owned by any customer, to participate in any energy market. The Energy Web Chain — the world’s first enterprise-grade, public blockchain tailored to the energy sector — anchors the EW-DOS tech stack. The Energy Web ecosystem comprises leading utilities, grid operators, renewable energy developers, corporate energy buyers, IoT / telecom leaders, and others.
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The views expressed herein are not necessarily the views of the Australian Government, and the Australian Government does not accept responsibility for any information or advice contained herein.