Australians continue to push the envelope of distributed solar power production and distribution despite the vagaries of politics and decision-making at the federal government level. With residential solar-storage system installations on the rise, leading-edge industry proponents are looking to take things a step further.
Distributed energy tech start-up GreenSync on Feb. 23 announced it and partners would launch the world’s first digital distributed energy marketplace. “DeX” (Digital Electricity Exchange) for the first time will allow Australian home and business owners, communities and power utilities to buy and sell electricity produced by solar panels and stored in battery packs on an open, online marketplace, GreenSync highlights in a press release.
First “deX” Pilots in ACT and Victora
Rolled out in phases, the first deX pilot tests will begin this June in the provinces of ACT (Australia Capital Territory) and Victoria, Australia’s second smallest and most densely populated state.
Joining GreenSync in developing deX are ACT and Victoria distribution utilities ActewAGL and United Energy; Reposit Power, another distributed energy start-up, and new energy retailer Mojo Power. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) funded the deX project.
“We have lots of small ‘power plants’ on more than 15% of the roofs in Australia. Getting all of these working together to support the grid is a powerful proposition for the widespread adoption of renewable energy technology and will fundamentally improve the reliability and reduce the intermittency of these resources in the energy mix,” commented GreenSync founder and CEO Dr. Phil Blythe.
“Imagine a single marketplace where consumers can connect and configure their energy resources, and all of the upstream value generated by these assets are automatically paid into a bank account or digital wallet.”
Accelerating Clean Energy Innovation
DeX could prove to be a boon to the nation’s power infrastructure, grid performance and capabilities, as well as to the economy, society and environment. By participating in deX, the growing ranks of Australians who have installed solar PV and battery-based energy storage systems, “will be able to monetize their solar and storage assets by essentially renting them to the grid when they’re most needed,” Blythe continued.
“deX will revolutionize peak electricity management and drive more effective investment in energy infrastructure.”
Australia’s power markets and industry is opening up with an eye towards embracing distributed renewable energy generation, storage, transmission and distribution in other ways. Eight international power utilities last month joined to create Free Electrons.
Billed as the world’s first global energy accelerator, Free Electrons aims to build bridged linking established, incumbent utilities to new, clean energy and cleantech start-ups so as to accelerate R&D and increase the likelihood, and time required, to achieve breakthrough. According to the founders, the consortium will recruit energy startups to drive the next generation of ideas in clean energy, energy efficiency, e-mobility, digitization, and on-demand customer services.
Andrew is a well seasoned and traveled freelance reporter and editor, covering the the nexus where new energy technology, markets, ecosystems and political economy intersect and overlap.