Australia, Policy, Projects, Renewables, Solar, Storage

Project Symphony unveils safe, reliable solar value

renewables, solar, rooftop, Project Symphony

Home solar panels could generate hundreds of millions of dollars in value and contribute to the reliability and security of the power system.

This was discovered by the Western Australia Government’s pilot of Virtual Power Plant (VPP) technology, known as Project Symphony.

According to the final report of Project Symphony, released by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), it was found that redistributing excess power generated by residential solar panels and home batteries could create over $920 million in value over the next decade.

Reece Whitby, Western Australia’s Energy Minister said Project Symphony helped the government and organisations understand that solar power and batteries can address system and network challenges, benefit the community, and support decarbonisation.

“Rooftop solar is already a key part of Western Australia’s energy transition,” he said.

“Integrating distributed energy into our State’s electricity market has the potential to unlock even greater value for households, and I look forward to seeing how policy and regulatory changes can support its uptake.”

Launched in February 2021, Project Symphony is a collaborative effort between Synergy, Western Power, and the Australian Energy Market Operator, with support from Energy Policy WA.

The project aimed to demonstrate how VPPs can bolster power system security and network reliability while delivering greater value to electricity users.

According to the WA Government, the project saw participation from more than 500 customers and involved 900 devices.

The final report of the project underscores the potential VPPs hold for Western Australia and emphasises the need for policy and regulatory changes to facilitate the integration of VPPs with the State’s power system.

The report includes 18 recommendations that will pave the way for the development of VPPs in real-world settings.

This comes at a time when Western Australians have shown a growing interest in distributed energy resources, with rooftop solar installed in 40 per cent of homes on WA’s main grid and approximately 30,000 new systems installed annually.

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