As Evergen achieves FCAS registration in 5 of 6 markets for two VPPS in NSW & Victoria.
While 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone across the globe, renewable energy has remained relatively resilient. Our business has evolved significantly, and our leadership team have adapted to the challenging environment we’ve lived through this year globally, but Evergen has seen one of it’s most successful years to-date, culminating in the acceptance by AEMO into the Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) markets in both Victoria and NSW. Evergen’s optimisation and fleet orchestration software is powering the Members Energy retail electricity offering which is delivered in partnership with Energy Locals.
What is an FCAS VPP?
Evergen software is optimising and orchestrating thousands of home batteries to release energy to the grid when the frequency of the grid needs stabilising. Rather than a standard Virtual Power Plant trial which coordinates batteries to deploy energy to the grid to support demand or benefit from fluctuations in the wholesale or spot price for electricity, an FCAS VPP supports grid frequency stabilisation. An example of when an FCAS VPP scenario might occur is when there is an over-supply of solar PV to the grid, increasing the frequency of the energy, or a Power Plant stops for technical reasons and there becomes an undersupply of energy to the grid, causing low frequency. Through Evergen software, we are able to let AEMO see Members Energy fleet capacity in advance, and how much of the capacity is able to be used at any point to provide grid stabilisation services.
Members Energy have recruited consumers with home batteries into their energy plan and VPP from Victoria and New South Wales, culminating in a combined capacity sufficient to meet AEMO’s requirements for accessible storage for FCAS. We have worked closely with Members Energy on this project from the start. Members Energy provides a unique retail offering for solar customers to tap into high prices on the spot market for their solar energy exports back to the grid. We’ve tailored our technology to enable their customers to take full advantage of the added value their product provides.
By being part of this FCAS VPP, home battery owners also take advantage of extra revenue from times when their battery energy is deployed. Historically, only traditional power plants have been able to support the frequency of the grid, but with an FCAS VPP home battery owners are the ones who are able to support the frequency.
Evergen Solution Architect, Lucy Carpinelli, says of the achievement “There are two really exciting elements of our registration in this program, firstly, it creates new value pools for home battery owners and EV owners and makes them more affordable. Secondly, it allows for grid stability to be managed by home battery owners, without any need to rely on coal-fired power plants or other fossil fuels such as gas peakers”.
Our FCAS VPP technology was developed in-house between our teams in Australia, Ukraine and with collaboration from the battery manufacturers in China. Through the process our engineering teams have developed an advanced technical solution to manage and test large amounts of data, which was a significant challenge. Now that the solution is in place, this enables us to move rapidly on to similar projects going forward.
Ben Hutt, Evergen’s CEO and Managing Director says, “It’s a fantastic achievement to be able to join the AEMO VPP trial through Members Energy. It takes us one step closer to our mission to kill a coal-fired power station in 10+ countries by powering the transition to a resilient, renewable, decentralised energy system of the future. Achievements such as this demonstrate the technical excellence we have at Evergen, and pave the way for mass adoption of residential batteries behind the meter as well as large batteries elsewhere in the energy system”.
Not only are we extremely proud of all the effort and outcomes from our team on this project, but we are also incredibly inspired, and thankful, to Members Energy and all the home battery owners who have invested in this technology to support a renewable network of the future.