The world is charging into the electrification of our homes and businesses as fossil fuels are being phased out for renewables. However, as this transition takes place there is a lot of pressure on the grid to handle the large volumes of renewables. This, coupled with the failures of old coal-fired power stations. All over the world, new technology is being developed to overcome this and we are looking at what it could mean for you.
What are the issues?
- Peak Demand – When the grid needs more power than what there is available, it is a significant problem for everyone. This is caused when an event happens like a power station breaking down, a bush fire, cyclone or flood cutting off supplies. It also happens on very hot or cold days when everyone has their heating or cooling working very hard.
- Frequency Control – The grid operates smoothly and efficiently at 50HZ. Loss of generation can create the frequency to fall due to the imbalance in generation and demand. This creates dangerous voltage levels that can ruin equipment and lead to expensive inefficiencies.
- Black Outs – The grid has protection in place that will shut down due to high peak loads, low or high voltages and incorrect frequency.
Why are batteries so good for the grid? (Solar Batteries and Electric Vehicles)
- Load Balance – Batteries can dispatch quickly to balance a load during peak events.
- Frequency Control – Batteries are perfect for fast response for frequency regulation and high efficiency.
- Batteries can soak up Solar – Batteries stabilize the grid during the middle of the day when the grid has so much solar generation.
- Black out protection – Not only does a battery save you on your energy bill, but it will also provide you power if the Grid goes out. Batteries are great for the grid and your home.
“As the Australian energy system undergoes rapid transformation, there’s growing interest in the crucial role battery energy storage systems (BESS) – often termed ‘big batteries’ – can play in the future electricity grid.” AEMO
A Virtual Power Plant can connect hundreds of home batteries to make them a very big battery.
Homeowners that have solar batteries, and soon electric vehicles, can play a huge roll in stabilizing the grid. This is where Virtual Power Plants (VPP) come in. A customer can monetize their home battery and electric vehicle of the future when called upon during peak events. Customers who choose to opt in, will join a community through software that will enable their battery to dispatch to the grid. You will be rewarded for this.
- Demand Management – Dispatching your battery is very helpful but this software can also turn off your hot water system or pool pump which is very effective for the grid. Furthermore, turning on your EV to charge during the middle of the day with solar is crucial for the grid stability get paid for your assets).
- Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) – As mentioned above, controlling the frequency of the grid is extremely critical. The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) have started to reward customers that can help stabilize the grid through batteries. However, it is not possible to do this yourself and will need to be connected to a community.
At Horan & Bird we have 30,000 customers and we want them to maximize their savings with solar, batteries and electric vehicles. We think the smart grid services above can create extra ROI for your assets. The potential for our customers to aggregate their assets through a VPP, FCAS and demand management could create great value for our Horan & Bird Community.
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Founder & Manager of Horan & Bird Energy. Director of Master Electricians Australia. John has played a key entrepreneurial role in the transformation of the Energy Landscape in Queensland having founded Horan & Bird in 2004 and building it to a $35 Million Business. The business was then sold, repurchased and merged with Juice Capital in 2020. Juice Capital own one of the largest renewable energy funds in Australia and allow customers to go solar and batteries for no up front capital through Power Purchase Agreements.