Evergen looks to boost battery uptake and create virtual power plant | RenewEconomy

Evergen looks to boost battery uptake and create virtual power plant

New partnership promises to “dramatically reduce” home battery ROI, while also creating one of the world’s biggest virtual power plants.

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Australia’s solar and storage market is set to get a much-needed pick-me-up, with the formation of a new strategic partnership between battery storage provider, Solar Service Group, and solar optimisation company, Evergen.

Evergen’s technology – developed by the CSIRO and backed by AMP Capital – uses a household’s power consumption patterns and weather forecasts to decide when to use solar power, when to store it, and when to draw from the grid, depending on what is most cost-effective for the household.

Solar SG – which operates under its Solar Service Group, Sunbank Solar and SouthAus Solar banners – says it has installed “thousands” of batteries around Australia, and thus has plenty of customers that might want to make better use of their stored solar power.

The companies plan to launch a first stage of a virtual power plant initiative with Solar SG customers in the first quarter of 2020. The companies believe there is potential to create the “biggest single fleet” of batteries globally.

“With more than 8,000 batteries installed nationally already, our current and future customers will benefit from Evergen’s world class optimisation software,” Solar SG chairman Rod Woolley said.

“Our partnership will enable all Evergen and Solar SG customers to be connected to energy markets, generating additional savings from participating in grid-scale initiatives,” he said.

A side goal, although perhaps even more important, is to boost the uptake of battery storage in Australia by improving the economics of the investment for Australia’s millions of solar households.

“This will dramatically reduce the payback period for consumers and provide concurrent benefits for the network and other energy consumers,” Woolley said.

For Evergen, which last month launched a $7 million fund-raising round, the partnership with Solar SG paves the way for a big push into the Australian solar optimisation market.

As reported on RE, the company has successfully completed trials in New Zealand and signed its first international software distribution deal with South African battery distributor Midnight Sun Energy Storage Systems.

“After various trial programs … this partnership … puts us in a position to take our proposition nationwide to our combined network of customers,” Evergen CEO Ben Hutt said.

Hutt said consumers would enjoy significant cost savings through VPPs by trading the excess energy in their batteries to benefit the network and other energy consumers.

“This is a revolutionary way of supporting the grid, unlocking energy savings for customers and helping to lower our carbon footprint,” he added.

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3 Comments
  1. Craig Fryer 11 months ago

    “New partnership promises to “dramatically reduce” home battery ROI”. I think that should be “dramatically increase”.

  2. Dale 11 months ago

    …and you should say that the Energy Insiders podcast is sponsored by Evergen.

    You know, like responsible journalists…

  3. Ian 11 months ago

    VPP at first glance seems lose lose to the household, their pricey home battery and hard earned solar electricity is shared with the grid at peak times when the household probably needs the electricity the most. There are a number of middle-men in the process each taking a cut. But these people have persisted with their technology and have perhaps turned a set of disadvantages for the solar and battery households into an advantage.

    The story of the VPP service will be interesting to watch.

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