Smart meters allow excess midday solar energy to be used for hot water systems in Australia – pv magazine International

From pv magazine Australia

Power distributor Endeavor Energy and smart metering company Intellihub have partnered with ten energy retailers to launch the Off Peak Plus program, which is now operational on the state’s south coast.

The program, which so far encompasses 2,500 households across Albion Park, essentially enables installed smart meters to dynamically control household hot water systems so that they can be switched on during the day when there is cheap excess energy on the grid.

In other words, the program causes the hot water system to function similarly to a virtual power plant (VPP) or an energy storage system, but has no additional hardware and software requirements. This is not only helpful for customers who have their water heated at the most cost-effective price, but also means that this excess can be soaked up without additional infrastructure.

While the program focuses on electric hot water systems, it could also be applicable for electric vehicle charging, batteries, or other forms of load control, or for on-demand response services.

Scott Ryan, Chief Operating Officer of Endeavor Energy, Leanne Pickering, Chief Customer Officer of Endeavor Energy, Matt Kean, Secretary of State for Energy and the Environment for New South Wales, and Adrian Clark, CEO of Intellihub in Haywards Bay, launch the Off Peak Plus Program. Endeavor Energy

The program caught the attention of State Energy Secretary Matt Kean, who was at the launch yesterday. “Nowhere else in Australia do we see this level of collaboration and innovation in the electricity sector to achieve community-wide benefits,” said Minister Kean.

“This state-of-the-art program has found a way to cope with peak energy needs and make the grid future-proof with even more solar systems for the household.”

“The smart meters also detect security problems in a customer’s installation and help identify network problems and failures, especially during storms and incidents.”

The program is managed by Intellihub, an Australian measurement provider specializing in products that improve network visibility and data insight.

“It’s an innovative project, not just because of the technology, but how it benefits customers, the environment and the industry all at the same time,” said Adrian Clark, CEO of Intellihub.

Ken Tuckey, Off Peak Plus client, and Pavi Harihaan Endeavor Energy, Endeavor Energy’s third year apprentice

The value that the program adds to Endeavor Energy, one of Australia’s largest electricity distributors, is that the company can better manage its growing renewable energy penetration by accessing data from the low voltage grid through a smart meter.

“Endeavor Energy initiated this program to address the problem of replacing and upgrading a 50 year old control system at off-peak hours at its nearby substation,” said Guy Chalkley, CEO of Endeavor Energy.

“By using advanced smart meters, Endeavor Energy can not invest in expensive legacy substation technology, but save real dollars and cents for our customers by finding ways to get cheaper solar energy.

“We can also access data on energy and power quality via the smart meter in order to be able to react better to problems and failures, especially during storms, and to offer customers an even safer and more reliable energy supply.”

It is planned to continue rolling out the program on the south coast of New South Wales and parts of west Sydney.

Off Peak Plus customers Jarod and Jade Catt with NSW Minister for Energy and Environment Matt Kean Endeavor Energy

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