A world-first trial will empower consumers to tap into the full value of their rooftop solar and battery storage systems, increasing the reliability of our electricity grids and making renewable energy more competitive.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is funding GreenSync to carry out the decentralised energy exchange (deX) project, which was developed through ARENA’s A-Lab initiative.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said funding projects like deX was delivering ARENA’s goal of accelerating Australia’s shift to renewable energy.

“To smoothly transition to a renewable energy future, we need new technologies and markets,” Frischknecht said.

“In a win for energy consumers, deX will enable owners of solar and batteries to earn extra money for helping to keep the lights on by participating in the sizeable grid services market.”

The deX software based marketplace will allow households and businesses to trade the grid services their batteries and rooftop solar can provide with their local network operators,” he said.

“This could encourage more investment in solar and batteries, supporting the grid, reducing the need for infrastructure investment and ultimately reducing the cost of renewables in Australia.”

ARENA is providing $450,000 funding to support the $930,200 project.

How it works

GreenSync is developing deX with open-source software and drawing on the capabilities of leading technology businesses, energy start-ups and electricity market participants. The trial could bring grid support trading into everyday utility operations and reduce the cost of these services.

Frischknecht said deX was formed in A-Lab’s inaugural session in April 2016 and further developed in an intensive two-day workshop in July 2016.

“The A-Lab multi-stage innovation process is designed to operate in rapid cycles of ‘ideate, incubate and accelerate’. This unique approach seeks to foster breakthrough thinking on complex challenges facing the electricity sector.”

GreenSync Founder and CEO Phil Blythe (pictured) said the global energy industry was undergoing a major transition and the launch of deX was key to enabling the shift towards a decentralised energy system.

“Reliability of the energy system and delivering new value streams to consumers are key priorities driving deX. Homes and businesses will be able to monetise their solar and storage assets by essentially renting them to the grid when they’re most needed,” Dr Blythe said.

“deX will revolutionise peak electricity management and drive more effective investment in energy infrastructure.”

Part of the team

A range of industry partners are participating in the GreenSync project: Reposit Power, Mojo Power, United Energy, ActewAGL, Australian National University and the ACT and Victorian governments. The pilot will initially be carried out in two locations in the ACT and Victoria.

ActewAGL will be piloting deX with batteries deployed in the ACT government’s Next Generation Energy Storage Program. The trial will demonstrate how market-integrated batteries can address grid constraints on segments of the network with very high levels of solar PV.

United Energy will be piloting deX in the lower Mornington Peninsula, which is forecast to experience network constraints caused by peak summer demand.