Renewables and Energy Technology

Wind turbines, solar panels, home battery storage - if it's discussion about renewable energy you're after, you'll find it here.

Wind turbines, solar panels, home battery storage - if it's discussion about renewable energy you're after, you'll find it here.

Virtual Power Plant discussion thread

Retired AGL Moderator

Hi all, welcome to the Community's Virtual Power Plant thread!


This is the place to discuss all things Virtual Power - whether that be to share your experience, discuss progress, or to ask any questions you may have about the project. We'll also keep you up to date with how the project is progressing.


If I've helped you in any way, feel free to give me a Like!

AGL Employee

Thanks for your message Chris and I'm so pleased to hear you had a great install experience. We've put a lot of effort into ensuring installs are efficient and safe, as well as leaving the premises clean and tidy so I'll pass your positive feedback onto the install team.

And thank you for sharing details with your friends as well. We really appreciate the endorsement.


With Stage 1 finalised and stage two being subscribed to I’m sure those interested have registered their interest but with one stage to go I thought it a good idea to share my experiences with the community on how it all works from the time you decide it’s the way to go to the actual install.


Mine was perhaps a tad unique as I had left AGL, got my original 3 phase meter back and back under the wing of SAPN were I could choose my own retailer and swap as I pleased, something you simply cannot do with an AGL supplied smart meter. I suppose with prices they way they were with Electricity it made sense.


After the switch was complete to another retailer I continued here on the forum and talked to an AGL employee about the battery idea and long story short I came back to AGL and signed up for the VPP. I’m not sure what really went wrong but in the end AGL worked with the other retailer and unbeknown to me AGL simply took back my account as of the day I left AGL and the other retailer refunded back to me all monies paid.


This part did not worry me at all as it meant I would be back to AGL sooner and the VPP would be installed quicker, no so it seemed, from September last year I sensed the left hand did not know what the right hand was doing and it dragged on for months, I found I was on the back of AGL to get this VPP thing going. Even as late as a few weeks ago I was stating to AGL that I was back with AGL, had been receiving bills and paying them.


Moving forward, just when I thought it was ready to go I find SAPN also had to receive docs from AGL for permission to install the VPP, more delays, fortunately that was quick and I was told all was good, sit tight for a date of install, 2 weeks later another reminder to AGL and then I get a message to say, ready to go, an installer will contact me for a date. Not quite as all I got was a message to ring to get a date.


Rang, was told a cancellation had occurred and I could get an install this Friday, tomorrow. I did have that day set aside so the following Friday was arranged. I decided to switch my appointments to accommodate AGL no more than 15 minutes later, hmm, not sure if we can now deliver the cabinet in time, bottom line was no can do, got to me next Friday.


I don’t necessarily blame AGL for all what went wrong but I do believe no one has a follow up interest to check and double check all boxes have been ticked etc. 150 to 450 possible VPP customers is not a lot to look after, what it has taught me is follow it all up yourself so you’re not forgotten.  The hot spell is over and the VPP relies on sunny days to get the real financial benefit.


As for the lock in period of 5 years it’s only money and money buys you out of the contract if things go wrong, I do feel though I will be in it for the long haul.


I am hoping the install next Friday will go smooth and there are no more hidden costs etc. I’ll keep the community informed every step of the way.


So, what happens when you actually sign up for the VPP, you get a date for an auditor to do a complete audit on your house, from switchboard to size of house, location and it’s quite thorough, not mentioned is the actual cost, per metre if your house is extra large or the location for the cabinet is outside of their 20 metre parameter. Mine at the time was not outside their parameter but I decided on a better location and that cost me extra. No argument or negotiation, it’s $15.00 per metre!


I opted for batter backup and I found that cost very reasonable but nowhere in writing did I see a limit of 4 circuits only, all power points were counted to build up a max figure regardless of whether they were actually used or even live. These were marked on my switchboard to be moved to a sub-board adjacent to the main switchboard, no extra cost, luckily I got that in writing, just in case.


Overall the deal is very good value I wish it was all documented very carefully for all to read.


Please remember I am just like you - a customer. If my post has helped, you can click the 'LIKE' button to show your appreciation.


I have a question for the AGL employees in regards to the blackout protection for $899


The question is, if you do not mind, could you please detail what is involved on the day to set this up?

Essentially I would like to ask if you would please justify the price by breaking it down into materials and labour.



AGL Employee

Hi and thanks for your interest in our battery backup solution.
To enable your battery with the grid back-up option, we remove the circuits that you select for back-up from your existing switchboard. These back-up circuits are then reconnected in to a separate sub-board that includes a changeover switch. A separate battery supply is then wired into this sub-board which requires additional cabling.

The changeover switch enables the backup circuits to be isolated in the event of a grid-outage, and allows the battery to be bypassed in the event that this is needed.

Whilst this sounds straight forward, it does require all the above additional wiring wich is time consuming.


Thank you for that it explains well.

The only real purpose of my question was to see if this is really a cash cow rip off. I see it may take some extra time and cables, switches but i can not personally make a subjective judgement on if it is excessive for what it is. I note howver it was listed at $699 initially and now it is $899, any reason for that increase?


AGL Employee

The additional products and services that we offer to make the battery installations possible or peronalise the installation so our customers can maximise the benefit of the battery are not about making money, rather about passing on the costs of the additional work. 

We made estimates at the commencement of the project about the cost of providing this backup power option, but since revised it based on experience.

It's great you are considering the cost and the personal benefit and making an informed decision.


Hi Jeremy,


i appreciate your advice on DC coupled system vs AC coupled system.


i have 3 phase power to our property and we do not currently have solar. I have register with AGL for the Sunverge battery under the VPP project. AGL has now confirmed my eligibility and has offered me a complete package including 5kW solar system and the 11.6kW Sunverge battery. 


AGL has indicated that they offered us a DC coupled system which was approved by AGL project manager - Apparently AGL does offer DC system to too many customers. by the way we can either choose DC or AC coupled system for the same price.


i am unclear in term of what system to choose. What are advantages of DC system over AC system? How future proof is the DC system or am I being offered an obsolete technology as it seems lot of people going for AC system.


please note I do not have solar at present and both solar and battery will be fresh install.


appreciate any advice you can give.


thank you,




Well, may be helpful as it contains a wide range of inverters including solar inverters also. We should encourage people to use solar power to save energy and it is eco-friendly and cheaper than what you pay monthly electricity bill.


Are there any updates on the second generation VPP?  Initially AGL were indicating information would be available in November.  There seems to be some speculation in the community of what it may be but some details from the horses mouth would be preffered. 🙂


Just had a chat with the VPP team who have advised that the official announcement will be early January.
This is due to the expected interest it will create and the load it may put on the VPP team withing AGL.
As per most business (mine included), there is a limited amount of resources available over the Christmas break.

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