The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has invested $445,000 in funding for a trial of an on-grid solar photovoltaic (PV) energy storage and trading system.
While on-grid residential energy storage is already available in Australia – for example, the PowerLegato – the Reposit Power GridCredits solution has an interesting twist.
In what it describes as a world first, Reposit Power combines energy storage with access to the energy market; meaning households with solar panels can receive a premium price for their exported energy.
“Premium” can be quite high in Australia’s electricity markets; particularly during a heatwave event when the wholesale price of electricity skyrockets. In January this year, we reported the dispatch (5 minute) wholesale electricity price reached $13,000 per megawatt-hour ($13 per kilowatt hour) in South Australia at one point. On that day, the wholesale price didn’t drop below $5,000 per megawatt hour between 9am and 9pm.
While these tend to be isolated events, Reposit Power aims to take advantage of these occurrences for its customers and generally higher prices when they occur throughout a normal day.
“The big fossil fuel companies make billions of dollars each year on the energy trading market by taking advantage of massive fluctuations in prices. It’s just like a stock market, but until recently it’s been invitation only,” says Reposit Power. “With a battery no bigger than a fridge you can now trade on this market too.”
The battery unit provided with the GridCredits system is manufactured by Magellan and has a 10kWh capacity.
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the new technology would allow consumers to reap more benefits from their rooftop solar power systems – but not only system owners.
“Residential electricity storage allows network operators to manage demand more effectively by delivering stored power into the grid at peak times,” said ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht.
“Reposit’s technology will also help smooth out the variable delivery of solar energy, allowing more renewables to be connected to the grid.”
The system will be trialled in a limited number of solar homes in the Australian Capital Territory initially to determine how it will function within the electricity network.
“The Australian Energy Market Operator is in discussions with Reposit about the potential to install and operate its product on the National Electricity Market,” Mr Frischknecht said.
The $930,000 Reposit Power project is scheduled for completion in July next year.