Tenders open to support power reliability next summer


A tender looking for solutions to meet changing customer needs and support power reliability for more than 240 sites in Victoria is now open.

CitiPower, Powercor and United Energy offer third parties the opportunity to develop and implement solutions that can alleviate capacity constraints on the low voltage grid during peak periods.

With homes and businesses using more electricity during hot summer days, pressure can be put on parts of the local power grid. Sometimes this can lead to reduced reliability and increase the risk of power outages.

Traditionally, networks invest in upgrades or new infrastructure to meet peak demand for just a few days. However, smarter technology solutions are now giving networks more cost-effective ways to handle peaks in demand without requiring upgrades.

CitiPower and Powercor, network planner Andrew Dinning, said it was the first time the three networks had opened up their low-voltage grid to third parties to provide solutions to address constraints that could limit supply. or reliability.

“Extremes of temperature, heat waves and customer growth can put a strain on our networks as more and more people depend on electricity to stay comfortable at home or at work,” said said Mr. Dinning.

“As a distribution system operator, we want to access existing capacities and create new markets to help us manage peaks in demand in the most profitable way for our customers.

“We hope this tender will spark innovative ideas from market players, both on the supply and demand side.”

Off-grid solutions can include embedded generation such as grid-connected or behind-the-meter battery storage or other demand management solutions and resources.

The projects will mainly support residential customers and should be operational by November 2022. Detailed data and locations of the selected sites have been released.

“This is an important step in developing the ability to publish data about network capacity and constraints that can enable a whole range of creative new energy solutions for customers as the market develops. energy transforms,” ​​Dinning said.

As operators of distributed systems, networks have for many years used demand management programs to deal with areas of the network reaching their capacity limits.

Additionally, United Energy is testing pole-top batteries to handle peak demand on its grid, while Powercor is investing in a community battery that is expected to be in place later this year.

Tenders and site locations are available at united energy and Citipower and Powercor.

Submissions close May 30, 2022.


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