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!


I hve just noticed that the Virtual Power link info has now changed and changed for the better, it'd good to see the changes as it gives a more detailed view of what the VPP is all about.


Well done to whoever was involved in updating it.




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


 Sorry you missed my post... is the one above yours... I blogged about it as it went in... link to my message in the post.

I am now monitoring the whole setup and will write again after 2 weeks of use... so expect to see something from my by end of this week.

All in all I am pretty pleased with how it is working. Like you, my 5.5 is working way above expected. Went in in August and is about 2,5mWh produced right now across winter.

According to my metering I have not used from the grid since I went live.

Look for my blog later in the week I will have more to say then...


AGL Employee

So we kick-started our first installations in November 2016 and it is going well - twelve are installed, and we will be ramping up the installation rate in the new year. Our community member @VPPGeoff has been keeping you up to date with what is happening regarding his installation and battery system operation, and we're also created a short video from one of the first installs at Katie’s house in Campbelltown, which covers what she thinks of her new battery and solar system. We also have our installer Stuart and AGL General Manager Elisabeth Brinton explaining the process, including how it works and how to get involved for those of you who might still be thinking about it.


We have sold out of the first stage of batteries (150) and on the 15th December we released the next stage of batteries, with which we have some great news – the new batteries will be Sunverge 11.6 kWh and will be priced at $3,849. Not only will all new customers get the 11.6 kWh battery but we will also be upgrading the battery for all customers who have already made a purchase, at no extra cost. So the virtual power plant just got even better!!


Feel free to ask any further questions you may have about the project and we’ll be happy to help.

Stuart, the installer, explaining the battery operation.Stuart, the installer, explaining the battery operation.



From snippets all over I have read most of what you have stated, makes me glad I ordered early, not early enough for a pre-Christmas install but still happy, even happier that I get the extra storage at no cost. I also opted for the battery back-up part, it was inexpensive in my view and like all things, purchased once then forgotten about forever but I reap the maximum benefits.


When I first read the publicity on the fact the next batch were dearer but more storage it was mentioned that nine were installed, 12 now as you say, with 150 in total to be installed I would be interested to know how AGL will cope given that most will want theirs installed like yesterday.?


Your publicist did that article a week or so ago and here is part of my email to her:


AGL’s Aaron just dropped me a note to say our proposed install will now have the larger battery system installed and at no extra cost. I think it was a very fair offer to allow the larger capacity battery to be offered at no cost, I often thought a larger capacity was much better but the cost from your website 12 months ago was too expensive, this offer is good as it rewards those of us who ‘stuck their neck out’ and ordered from the first batch offer. Had the offer been to pay the extra cost I would have opted in regardless, the fact it was offered for existing installs and current orders at no charge, even better.


I actually dream of the day I can go into my garage and open up the cabinet and just stare at the batteries etc.!!




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

AGL Employee

You're right - our customers are very excited about receiving their batteries. The batteries sold to date will be installed by April 2017 and our installation teams are working hard to prepare for this increased installation rate while keeping a focus on safety and quality.

AGL Employee


We’re excited to update you all that over the next few days AGL will be running the first demonstrations of the virtual power plant and connected battery technology, starting today.This means that AGL will actively manage the batteries that make up the virtual power plant, so they operate in unison.


How do virtual power plant demonstrations like this work?

Basically, in a coordinated way, connected batteries will be directed to charge or discharge energy. If the battery discharges energy, it’s available to the customer’s home first so they can enjoy the benefits of using their own stored energy. Any excess solar energy that isn’t needed to power the home at the time will be exported to the grid, and customers get their retail Feed-in Tariff (FiT).

AGL has scheduled these events to line up with the normal charge and discharge patterns of a customer's battery, as much as possible. There may be times during these events when the battery’s charge and discharge cycles are different to their usual pattern.

We’ll be sharing the results of these demonstrations in the future, and providing updates about future events, so subscribe to the conversation by clicking Options, under the bookmark button and then select Subscribe to stay in the loop.


 Hi Nichola,


Thanks for the heads up, I'm just a tad confused so need your help. My VPP is not as yet installed but my solar has been running for some time and I do my best to use appliances like aircon, dryer and etc. during sunny hours so my FIT is quite low and that is how things should be in my opinion.


So, during the day, when VPP has been installed, what is the order of events charge and discharge wise? I'm assuming that the solar remains the same as is now, and any excess solar goes to the batteries so I can use and deplete the batteries in my home in non sunny times. The deal as I understand it was at times of of power needed in the state AGL could direct my power back to the grid for others to use, have I got this correct or have things changed?




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

AGL Employee

Hi Rob,

Thanks for your question - you’re exactly right.

Currently power from your solar system will first be used in your home, and then any excess exported to the grid.

When your battery is installed, your solar generation will first be used in your home, then to charge your battery, and only once your battery is full, exported to the grid.


Under normal operation, your battery will discharge into your home to meet your household demand.


During a virtual power plant event, AGL may discharge your battery remotely in order to improve grid stability or reduce load in the network. When we do so, the battery will always discharge to meet your household loads first, like normal. If the discharge event calls for more power than the load in your home, the excess power from your battery will be fed back to the grid.


As an example, a VPP event may call for batteries to discharge at 3 kW. During that discharge event your home’s load is 2kW. That first 2kW of discharge will be used to meet household load, and the remaining 1kW will be exported to the grid.


So to be clear, you always get first use of any power discharged during an event.


Thanks again for the prompt reply, I hope everyone reads this so they better understand how AGL look after the customer as well as the grid but putting the customer first!




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


Ours was installed yesterday, and the installers were polite, informative and cleaned up beautifully after the installation.

We have a 5.8kW PVA, and are looking forward to filling up the new 11.6kWh battery when the battery is upgraded.

We paid for the backup facility, and were quite surprised (and annoyed) to find that we had a couple of brief outages that were enough to reset all appliances on the backup circuits.

I was just sitting down to compose an email question to AGL about this when Greg from AGL called, and explained the system problem and fix.

Excellent customer service, folks!

We are looking forward to getting login details for the battery monitoring dashboard, and showing friends.

I am in the Electrotechnology business (provide SA support for eProfiling for electrical apprentices), so have already started sending links about the VPP system to colleagues and customers 🙂