Pilots and Trials
The DER Program Pilots and Trials workstream has been established to explore innovative ways to develop and embed new capabilities and services into Australia’s energy system and markets.
These innovative, small-scale pilots and trials encompass:
- AEMO/ARENA Demand Response trials
- Virtual Power Plant (VPP) demonstrations
- DER Marketplaces
The lessons learned and outcomes from these pilots and trials will inform evidence-based changes to regulatory and operational processes in order to effectively operate the electricity grid and markets with increasing levels of DER penetration. This workstream aims to maximise Australia’s energy system security and sustain a reliable energy supply for all Australians.
AEMO/ARENA Demand Response trials
ARENA and AEMO entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly develop 'proof of concept' projects that support the integration of renewable energy into the energy market, while maintaining system reliability and security. The trial was developed to:
- demonstrate that Demand Response is an effective source of reserve capacity for maintaining reliability of the electricity grid during Contingency Events and that Demand Response resources can be rapidly developed for deployment from summer 2017/18.
- provide an evidence base to inform the merits and design of a new market or other mechanism, for Demand Response to assist with grid reliability and security, allowing for greater uptake of renewable energy.
- improve the commercial and technical readiness of Demand Response providers and technologies to help demonstrate and commercialise the use of Demand Response for grid security and reliability.
Read ARENA's Demand Response RERT Trial Year 1 Report (603 KB, pdf)
Virtual Power Plant demonstrations
Australia has the highest per capita uptake of rooftop solar PV in the world. AEMO anticipates there will also be a rapid uptake of battery storage, Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) by Australian energy consumers.
In this future energy world, coordination of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) between the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and Distribution Network Service Providers (DNSPs) to enable whole of system optimisation of resources will be required.
What is a Virtual Power Plant?
A virtual power plant (VPP) is a cloud-based, distributed power plant that aggregates the capacities of various distributed energy resources (DER) for the purposes of enhancing power generation, as well as trading or selling power on the electricity market.
Working Groups Launch – May 2019
To inform the VPP demonstrations, two working groups have been launched:
- API Technical Working Group
- A VPP Technical Reference Working Group
Additional working groups will be established, as required. For more information on how to get involved in the DER Program, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
VPP Demonstration Launch - July 2019
The Virtual Power Plant (VPP) demonstrations are designed and conducted in collaboration with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC), the Australian Energy Regulator (AER), and members of the Distributed Energy Integration Program (DEIP).
In April 2019, AEMO secured funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) for its Virtual Power Plant (VPP) demonstrations to advance the integration of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) in Australia’s electricity network. Read AEMO's full media statement.
A number of demonstrations are planned and underway to:
- develop the systems and frameworks required to effectively and securely integrate VPPs into the existing electricity grid and market,
- craft a FCAS Assessment tool for VPPs to deliver multiple services across energy markets, and potential network support services,
- provide systems to allow AEMO access to real-time data from DER,
- operationalise VPP on-boarding of the FCAS system,
- assess current regulatory arrangements affecting participation of VPPs in energy and FCAS markets, and inform new or amended arrangements where appropriate,
- provide insights on how to improve consumers’ experience with VPPs in future, and,
- understand and inform the necessary cyber security capabilities of VPPs to safely ‘plug’ into the electricity grid.
Enrolments for VPP Demonstrations
Enrolments are open – refer to AEMO's media statement.
Information about the design of the VPP Demonstrations and how to enrol can be found in the following documents:
- Final Design Document (484 KB, pdf)
- Enrolment Form (487 KB, docx)
- Enrolment Guide (416 KB, pdf)
- VPP Demonstrations Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) Specification (735 KB, pdf)
- Data Specification (517 KB, pdf)
- Data Template (95 KB, xlsx)
- Cyber Security Questionnaire (48 KB, xlsx)
- Draft Guide to VPP Demonstrations APIs (601 KB, pdf)
As part of the October release (R2) of the VPP demonstrations, AEMO introduced the new API Management Platform (APIGEE) to VPP trial participants. All the participant facing APIs are deployed on the APIGEE platform.
The VPP Demonstrations participants will now be able to consume the Enrolment, Contingency FCAS Response and VPP Operational data APIs. This allows VPP Demonstrations participants to submit data in real time.
The external APIs enables AEMO to:
- Access near real time data from VPPs;
- On-board new proponents into the VPP trials.
The VPP Demonstrations participants are now able to submit new site and DER device information on a regular basis as their fleet size grows.
For more details on these participant facing API’s please refer to below links.
- Link to API specification: https://dev.aemo.com.au
- VPP Demonstrations Release Schedule and Technical Specification (DRAFT)
- AEMO eHub guide
DER Marketplace Trials
Commenced in 2018, these proof-of-concept trials are being designed and undertaken to evaluate consumer value of different distributed energy market designs. The trials are being conducted in collaboration with Network Service Providers, governments (State and Territory) and aggregators to:
- deliver insights to ensure regulations and operational processes are fit for purpose,
- identify how to integrate very high penetrations of DER in a practical way that maximises value to all energy sector participants and Australian consumers,
- build systems to enable visibility of how we can implement Open Energy Network project findings, such as operational envelopes for DER fleet capacity,
- expand the value of DER for DER device owners,
- ensure any demand response mechanisms can be implemented by AEMO,
- allow AEMO to continually provide a secure and reliable energy supply to all Australian during the transition to the future energy system.
Full DER Marketplace trials will be operational by the end of 2022. Learnings from each phase of each trial across the various locations, will inform all subsequent trials.
How to get involved in the DER Program
- Stakeholder engagement: AEMO offers interested stakeholders the opportunity to participate and engage in shaping and developing the DER Program and associated workstreams. Learn more about the DER Program stakeholder engagement forums.
- Education: A series of information sessions will be scheduled to share insights and progress of the DER Program workstreams. More information about DER Program education courses can be found at AEMO Learning Academy or email: email@example.com
- Quarterly Progress Reports: AEMO will publish the status of the DER Program workstreams from Q2 FY20.
- Questions about the DER Program? Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
VPP Demonstrations Consultation Paper
In November 2018, AEMO published a consultation paper to seek feedback on a proposed framework for the VPP Demonstrations.
- VPP Demonstrations Consultation Paper (678 KB, pdf)
AEMO held two stakeholder webinars to facilitate a discussion on the Consultation Paper prior to a deadline for written submission. Details of these webinars, and the non-confidential written submissions received are available below.
VPP Demonstrations Webinar #1 on 4 December 2018
VPP Demonstrations Webinar #2 on 17 December 2018
- VPP Demonstrations Webinar recording on 17 December 2018 (32 MB, mp4)
- VPP Demonstrations Webinar presentation on 17 December 2018 (2.5 MB, pptx)
- ECA (358 KB, pdf)
- EQL (461 KB, pdf)
- Embertec (57 KB, pdf)
- ActewAGL (139 KB, pdf)
- AGL (343 KB, pdf)
- CEC (163 KB, pdf)
- CEEM (1.4 MB, pdf)
- ENA (640 KB, pdf)
- EnergyAustralia (214 KB, pdf)
- Freedom Power (33 KB, pdf)
- Karit (86 KB, pdf)
- LO3 (60 KB, pdf)
- Monash (183 KB, pdf)
- Mondo (435 KB, pdf)
- Origin (139 KB, pdf)
- Power Ledger (196 KB, pdf)
- Ready.Energy (110 KB, pdf)
- Reposit (182 KB, pdf)
- SandC Electric Company (551KB, pdf)
- Simply Energy (92 KB, pdf)
- Sonnen (133 KB, pdf)
- SZE (143 KB, pdf)
- Tesla (250 KB, pdf)
- Tukio (886 KB, pdf)
- Wattwatchers (147 KB, pdf)
- Western Power (610 KB, pdf)