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Virtual Power Plant Pilot

We are combining innovation and technology to create alternative solutions to traditional approaches to meet an ever-increasing demand for electricity. A Virtual Power Plant (VPP) integrates solar-generated energy into a new, more sustainable energy management system that is both decentralised and democratised. A VPP combines multiple home solar and battery systems to act as a conventional power plant, using a centralised control centre that co-ordinates various sources of generation through cloud-based software. Powerclub and Power Ledger's VPP Project gives participants enhanced ability to exploit the electricity market to gain revenue from fluctuations in wholesale energy prices and Powerclub's no-profit processes. Additionally, combining solar and battery technology substantially lowers households CO2 emissions while pushing renewable energy to the grid during periods of peak demand. It's a win-win for Members and the environment.

Powerbank

How smart-grid technology can benefit you

Export your net Solar during periods of peak demand to increase your revenue

Power Ledger’s technology, combined with Powerclub’s no-profit processes allows participating households to effectively trade electricity.

South Australian's can access up to A$5,000 discount on solar and battery installations

South Australian households may be able to access up to $4,500 in the states battery subsidy scheme PLUS the first 20 Members to sign up to the pilot will receive a further $500 discount.

Help slow climate change

Energy generation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Australia, with 72% of our electricity being produced by coal-burning power stations. As the VPP grows, your net solar will supplement the grid during peak periods of demand which will begin to alleviate pressure on the network and reduce Australia’s carbon footprint from fossil fuels.

What are the advantages of solar technology?

The sun is a powerful electricity source with just one hour of sunlight providing enough energy to meet global needs for a year. Unfortunately, we don't have the technology to harness all this energy yet, but installing solar panels and battery technology at your home will go a long way for our planet, and your pocket.

Currently, energy generation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Australia, with 72% of our electricity being produced by coal-burning power stations. Unlike coal, gas and diesel, solar energy can be harnessed all over the world and has an endless supply. By investing in solar panels and battery technology, homeowners can generate a renewable source of energy to supplement their household needs, while reducing their electricity bill and adding value to their home.

Making it as cost-effective as possible

Power Ledger and Powerclub have teamed up with sonnen and Natural Solar to launch the Virtual Power Plant Pilot in South Australia to test small-scale implementation of our VPP technology in a real market environment. To celebrate the launch of our Pilot, we have created the most cost-effective pricing structure - and threw in a few extras for the first 20 participants of the program!

  • Natural Solar has created a special discounted price for your solar and battery installation (potentially saving you hundreds of dollars).
  • Your solar and battery installation may be eligible for up to $4,500 in South Australian government grants.
  • The first 20 Members to sign up to the pilot will receive a further $500 discount from Power Ledger.
  • Powerclub will cover your first year's residential membership and $250 towards your Powerbank contribution. Your Powerbank is used to smooth wholesale market fluctuations so you can pay a low, fixed-rate per kWh and is calculated based on your unique usage consumption.

Participation is easy!

Step 1: Install your solar and battery system

You will need a 6 kW solar system and a 10 kWh sonnen battery to participate in the VPP Pilot. In this first release of the program, the VPP will only support sonnen batteries; however, we are developing the technology to enable all battery owners to participate.

Step 2: Upgrade to a Smart Meter

To participate in a VPP, you will need a Smart Meter. Smart Meter technology is remotely read and measures how much electricity you use or export every 30 minutes. To ensure you gain the best return for your solar exports, we need to track them against the 30-minute market price.

Step 3: Join the Club

Powerclub saves you money by providing access to electricity at wholesale prices. We don’t profit from your usage, and we exist solely for the benefit of our Members. We’re the Club bringing the community together with a better way to buy, sell and use energy.

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Join the VPP Pilot

To assess your eligibility for the Pilot Program, please complete the Expression of Interest. If you don’t have solar and battery technology at your home, Natural Solar, Australia’s leading and largest solar and battery installer, will contact you to begin the installation process.

To participate in this VPP, Natural Solar will install your 6kW Canadian Solar system and 10kWh sonnen battery. Canadian Solar is one of the biggest solar companies in the world and is dedicated to continuous improvement with a team of more than 250 scientists, engineers and technicians. This technology, in conjunction with sonnenBatteries, creates an intelligent, long-lasting and economical solution for your energy future.

What will it cost me?

Powerclub, Power Ledger, Natural Solar and sonnen batteries have created an all-inclusive price based on solar + battery or just battery.

Once your VPP infrastructure is installed, and your meter has been upgraded, Powerclub’s Member Advocate Team will get in touch to transfer you to Powerclub.

As a Member of Powerclub, you will gain access to wholesale electricity prices, charges and operational expenses at cost, so you only pay for the energy you use, the services you get and nothing more. To support our operational costs, we include 28.6c incl GST in the daily Supply Charge and 0.836c incl GST (less than one cent) per kWh used. Your Powerclub Plan will be, on average, 30% cheaper than the AER reference price based on general usage in the SA Power Network.

Powerclub pays the wholesale value of your solar exports. You will receive a competitive solar feed-in-tariff (FiT), and at the end of the year, we’ll review your actual wholesale export value. If it’s higher, which we expect it to be, we’ll pay you the difference.

The VPP platform is expected to launch in early 2020. There will be a fee to use Power Ledger's platform that manages your battery and the wholesale trading of the VPP. Powerclub passes on the direct costs we incur which are 27.5c per day, including GST, which will be a small part of what you make by participating in the VPP.


How much value can you expect from participating in the VPP?

We expect the total benefit, including savings from Powerclub's wholesale rates and solar Feed-in-Tariff, your decreased consumption and benefits from VPP events to be between $2,500 - $3,000 per year, based on consumption of about 25kWh/day. Depending on your unique usage pattern and circumstances in the wholesale market, we anticipate it will take between 6 - 9 years to pay back your solar and battery investment.

Frequently Asked Questions

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