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What is a Virtual Power Plant?

What is a Virtual Power Plant? 

[Hint: It’s the Secret to Saving Thousands of Dollars on Energy Costs]

The energy market in Australia is changing rapidly, with an eye towards a sustainable, renewable energy future. 

To help make this a reality, Virtual Power Plants offer decentralised control and innovative distribution technology that keeps the lights on, reduces reliance on fossil-fuels, and puts more money in your pocket. 

Read on to discover how these growing grid resources are helping Australian homeowners reduce their electricity bills and support their communities at the same time.

Let’s face it: everything is virtual in 2021.

Whether you’re playing games, watching TV, or meeting up with friends and family online, the virtual world has become increasingly connected to the real world. So it’s no surprise that the energy world has found a way to utilise virtual technology – with Virtual Power Plants.

Virtual Power Plants, (or VPPs, if you prefer your acronyms) are the simple way to get more from your solar unit and batteries, and the ‘excess energy’ they generate/store.

And by “more” we mean:

  • Guaranteed discounts on your usage charges
  • Profit sharing during peak energy usage times
  • Shorter ‘buyback’ period to pay off your solar investment

With enough power for your own needs, joining a VPP allows you to export solar energy back to the grid; supporting the community, and earning extra credits to go towards your next bill… with a return from $1,500 to $3,000 per year.

Who knew it was so easy to slash your energy bills? 

Read on to discover how you can join the energy revolution.

What is a Virtual Power Plant?

A Virtual Power Plant is a network of independent energy resources connected via cloud technology. In simple terms, this means your home’s solar battery connects with other homeowner’s solar batteries to form a single power source – or ‘Virtual Power Plant’.

Instead of keeping your excess power sitting in your solar battery, a VPP takes this energy and exports it back to the power grid during times of peak demand. Together with thousands of other homes and businesses, this creates a ‘pop-up power plant’ fuelled by renewable energy – reducing the need for coal power. 

The technology is impressive… but more importantly, you’ll be playing a crucial role in reducing the need for fossil-fuel power plants that currently support the energy system, but are doing significant damage to the environment.

“Will exporting power back to the grid save me money?”

virtual power plant

Absolutely. 

And we’re not talking about a few dollars here.

With a VPP, your power hasn’t been sent back to the grid at random intervals. 

At Nationwide Solar Solutions, our partnership with Discover Energy gives our customers access to their proprietary software which acts as a smart energy trader, waiting for the grid to experience a ‘surge event’ before returning excess power

By waiting for peak grid events, you can enjoy:

  • Discounted electricity rates and cheaper power bills
  • Highest solar feed-in-tariff in Australia (45c/kWh)
  • Profit sharing during peak energy usage times
  • Shorter ‘buyback’ period to pay off your solar system

Using this smart approach to solar tariffs, you can sell your power back to the grid for a premium and enjoy a return between $1,500 and $3,000 per year.

But don’t worry, your home or business takes priority so you can rest assured you’ll always have more than enough power to keep the lights on, with any unused energy helping to power your community.

And as a reward for helping Australia transition to 100% renewable energy you’ll receive the Solar feed-in-tariff on your next bill – enjoying up to 45c/kWh in rebates to help you pay off your solar investment sooner!

How Does a Virtual Power Plant Work?

Joining a VPP doesn’t change your day-to-day life in any way.

Once you’ve signed up to your chosen VPP, the cloud-based technology uses a mixture of algorithms, weather data, energy pricing and peak-load requirements to assess where energy is needed, reducing your reliance on the national energy grid (which is both environmentally unsustainable, and more expensive).

You kick back in your home knowing that you’re using clean, renewable energy – your VPP takes care of the rest!

Here’s the simple, two-step process mapped out for you:

Step #1: Store Excess Solar Power Step #2: Share Excess Solar Power
It’s a hot and sunny day, and your home solar system is generating power.

When you generate more power than your home needs, the VPP stores this power in your solar battery to use when the sun goes down.

Your home has enough power to stay bright all night, but the grid is under stress.

The VPP shares your excess solar power with the grid to keep your neighbour’s lights on, and you’re rewarded with credits to make your next power bill cheaper.

Remember – you won’t be the only participant of a VPP. 

Along with other homeowners and solar-powered business premises looking to take advantage of innovative technology, your solar batteries are connected to your VPP’s cloud-based central control system via remote control.

Batteries are able to “talk” to each other, forming a connected system that operates as a solar power plant – without changing the landscape, requiring any new infrastructure, or requiring a single inch of construction in your community.

Being connected to a central hub also means all assets (which is a fancy word for your solar battery) can be monitored and controlled through the central room of the VPP, without compromising individual needs.

In other words, your home uses all the power it needs, with no risk of running short, while your VPP uses the excess power to support the grid and leverage you a credit in return.

Win-win.

Does Australia Need Virtual Power Plants?

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In short, yes.

Up until recently, Australian energy grids relied mostly on large, centralised power plants for power. As the bulk of these were fossil-fuel plants, the chorus of concern around sustainability, pollutants, and cost grew louder year after year.

In response to these concerns, and thanks in large part to the amount of solar rays Australia receives each year, solar energy producers are generating renewable resources and feeding that power back to the grid.

More than doing your part to protect the planet, sustainable solar energy is a cost-effective solution. Current fossil-fuel energy is expensive, and that cost gets passed onto your power bill. By offering solar energy on-demand, everyone can appreciate lower energy prices.

Am I Eligible to Join a VPP?

Nationwide Solar Solutions have partnered with Discover Energy to deliver VPP cloud-based software that turns your home into a mini-power plant – and delivers Australia’s highest solar feed-in-tariff, at 45c/kWh.

To be eligible to join Discover Energy’s VPP, you’ll need to be a resident within Discover Energy’s service area. You’ll also need the right solar hardware. Connection is wireless, so there’s no need for installation… or the frustrating request to be home between the hours of 8am and 5pm.

With no lock-in contracts, you can enjoy 12 months of benefits without feeling trapped.

Ready to be a part of Australia’s clean energy future and enjoy Australia’s highest Solar FiT?

Use our online eligibility checker HERE!

Or contact the Nationwide Solar Solutions team for a 100% complimentary consultation! We’ll test your eligibility for the FiT. Discover how much you can save with solar!