What is the project?
United Energy is one of the first energy utilities worldwide to embrace new technologies that involve community participation. The Community Grid Project (TCGP) is one of these community-focused initiatives.
As one of the first implementations of deX, TCGP aims to lower costs and facilitate the uptake of new renewable energy technologies on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, while maintaining security and reliability of energy supply. Households and businesses from Dromana to Portsea are invited to participate in a voluntary demand response project.
TCGP is a partnership between electricity network provider United Energy, the Mornington Peninsula Shire and technology company GreenSync. The project is supported by the Victorian Government’s New Energy Jobs Fund.
What is the situation?
United Energy identified a future network constraint on the Mornington Peninsula. The Mornington Peninsula itself sees peaks in energy usage on a handful of hot days in summer when the population doubles due to tourism and a seasonal influx of holidaymakers, and energy demand is high.
Eager to innovate, United Energy turned attention to demand-side initiatives to address forecasted constraints. This method supports households and businesses to adopt new energy technologies such as solar PV and battery storage.
These innovative technology options deliver the same level of service as a traditional poles and wires network, but offer the added benefits of environmental sustainability and improved cost efficiency over the longer term.
The benefits and outcomes
The Mornington Peninsula community partnership facilitates a wide range of benefits across the board. The initiative:
- Defers the need for costly infrastructure investments, helping energy to become more affordable to households and businesses over time.
- Helps to maintain reliability during peak demand and achieves optimal allocation of energy.
- Assists with bringing renewable energy assets online.
- Injects money back into the community.
- Encourages innovation, helping to future-proof the energy network.
- Reduces the cost of energy across the community.
- Supports the Mornington Peninsula to manage its own energy future.
- Offers businesses and households financial incentives to voluntarily reduce power consumption.
- Provides the community with subsidies and technical support to install solar power and battery storage.
What is the project timeline?
TCGP commenced on 1 July 2017 and will run for a duration of five years. GreenSync has already recruited a number of prominent commercial and industrial businesses to the program.
In parallel, GreenSync has established a series of showcase technology sites to demonstrate technologies such as battery storage and is engaging with commercial partners to develop products and services for residential customers later in the program.
Pilots for residential technology will be in place for next summer and the program will expand participation over the project life ensuring the long-term value of this landmark project.
Towards the end of 2019 households and business will be invited to participate in the deX component of the project. Options for the adoption of new renewable and efficient technologies will be available through energy local retailers.