First notes of a Western Australian symphony – pv magazine Australia


Project Symphony provides a glimpse into Western Australia’s energy future, says project communications manager Megan Allan. With a large, islanded grid exhibiting high levels of rooftop PV penetration, the WA Grid Pilot is aggregating residential PV into a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) to participate in a simulated two-way wholesale market. electricity.

Excerpt from pv magazine 06/2022

The way energy is generated, managed and consumed is changing rapidly. Driven by near-perfect solar conditions and consumers’ desire for cleaner, cheaper energy, one in three households in Western Australia (WA) now has a solar system on their roof. In terms of energy, this equates to nearly 2 GW of renewable energy capacity, collectively representing the largest and cleanest source of electricity generation on the South West Interconnected System (SWIS).

In response to the rapidly changing sector, the WA government has developed and is in the process of delivering its Distributed Energy Resources (DER) roadmap. The Symphony project is a key part of this strategy. The pilot was designed to “orchestrate” approximately 900 DER assets across 500 homes and businesses into a Virtual Power Plant (VPP). The project is being carried out in the south of the state capital, Perth.

Delivered in collaboration between distribution system operator Western Power, utility Synergy, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and the WA State Government, the project aims to understand the opportunities and challenges of the increase in DER and how it can be managed by VPP orchestration. It is piloting a version of the Open Energy Networks (OpEN) hybrid model, which defines roles and responsibilities for the transition to a two-way power grid, allowing better integration of DERs.

New grass

What makes Project Symphony unique is that while ensuring the energy system can meet the challenges during peak periods of distributed solar generation, it also aims to deliver more value to customers by enabling them to participate to future energy and service markets through their production on the roof. energy. Unlike manufacturer-led VPP programs, the project also incorporates solar inverters from a large number of partners.

Recently, the project reached an important milestone with the successful testing of the smart systems needed to simulate the orchestration of 200 kW of energy over a two-way trading interval in the balancing market. System integration testing saw seven organizations, including technology and project partners across five different time zones, conduct 20 integration tests over five days. Of the test cases conducted, 19 passed with only one relatively minor issue to fix in future testing.

Testing involved partner platforms communicating with each other, providing both commands and responses that support real-world electron flow changes to and from DER, while engaging in a market environment simulated. This included Synergy’s registration of a facility consisting of an aggregated DER determining its available capacity for a trading interval and incorporating a baseline Dynamic Operating Envelope (DoE) at the National Metering Identifier (NMI) level. ), released to Synergy by Western Power so that the aggregator can prepare and provide a market submission to the AEMO. Synergy also managed customer assets from load to generation, to meet AEMO shipping instructions. Western Power monitored the network during the scenario.

Project Symphony program manager Andrew Blaver said the successful integration was a crucial step for the project and in planning for the future of Western Australia’s energy system. “It is exciting for the project and for the people of Western Australia, as it marks the start of the power system understanding how households and businesses could derive wider financial and environmental benefits from their energy assets,” said Blaver said. “At the heart of Symphony’s success are its customers, as owners of distributed energy assets, their willingness to participate in the project is essential.

He added; “Customers who have signed up to participate are investing in clean energy and using their systems to participate in a VPP. They pave the way for a more sustainable energy future with benefits for the wider community.

Further testing is already underway and the focus will be on automation improvements between systems integration layers, including allowing the aggregator to receive automatic dispatch instructions from the AEMO and then to define an automatic distribution of the aggregate installation on the market. The Symphony project will continue to onboard more customers, including third-party aggregators, and test different use case scenarios until the start of the VPP system’s “stability period”, currently scheduled for October 2022.

The Symphony project has received support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) through ARENA’s Advanced Renewables program and the WA State Government.

About the Author

Megan Allan has worked in the energy sector in Western Australia for over 14 years and is currently the Stakeholder and Communications Manager for Project Symphony.

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