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Virtual Power Plant (Origin Energy VIC)


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I came across this  Virtual Power Plant scheme that Origin energy offer.

https://www.originenergy.com.au/solar/panels-batteries/virtual-power-plant.html

In short,  you get a discounted price battery and the power co can  draw from that battery whenever they want  (has never happened in last 4yrs apparently).    You get $  credited when they take power. 

 I'm tentatively considering it for my place  (have another topic on that here) so made online inquiry yesterday,  got a call back quickly and  received the  quote today.  

  • System Cost $15,817       [ 6.6kW Panels (Trina 370w) + 9.8kW battery (LG RESU10) +  5kW Inverter (SMA) ]
  • Less:  STC's  ($3222), Gov Rebate ($1850), Gov Loan ($1850)
  • Total Payable $8,895.    24 month interest free payback on the lot. 

Note:  They do a 6.5kW battery   but sales rep suggested bigger when I mentioned I want all my house circuits off the battery,  not just the essentials.      (I'm not sure this up-sell was necessary).

I'm  keen to hear general opinions in this type of setup,  and also the quote I received.      cheers

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You won't get the house off the grid for that. Nor is that inverter likely offgrid capable.

You might be better placed with a Goodwe hybrid (will run 7kW+ on the strings) and a BYD LV B-Box - it's expandable and has some very enviable cycle life behaviour. Have a customer running one happily. Has an ATS and will grid form so will do islanding/backup.

As for the VPP... Reposit will probably control that, though right now prefers SolaX and a few others at the lower end of the market. 

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, rmpfyf said:

You won't get the house off the grid for that. Nor is that inverter likely offgrid capable.

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by that so I'll just explain what I'm generally hoping to achieve by adding a battery, be it this VPP through origin or otherwise.

 - make better use of the power generated by my panels.    eg.   give me the ability to consume 'my' power outside of the sunny hours,  rather than receiving a pittance through FIT's.      That battery will not cover all my needs all the time so  I'm happy to pay for power from the grid for any shortfall,   expect the system should draw from the battery before taking any power from the grid.       

 - I want the battery system to power everything/anything in my house,  within reason of course.     Once the load exceeds the battery/inverter 5kW discharge limit the grid should make up the difference.       I'm not sure what would happen if the grid is down and I'm consuming more than 5kW at the time. 

Edited by manchu
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While the price with the battery seems reasonable, the PV system itself (the panels + inverter) is on the smaller side of what's being sold now IMO.

It all comes down to your current consumption and what spec'ing the system to your needs. In my experience, anyone who sells solar over the phone doesn't have your best interests in mind. I did learn the hard way recently that you can't get the solar grant now, and then a battery grant later so you're definitely better doing the lot in one go now. 

In my case, and I admit we have very high consumption, a 10kW system (~12.6kW worth of panels) is still not big enough to give us a zero bill even with a 7kW battery. You need to deal with a company that dives much deeper into your current consumption and typical usage before you can get an even remotely accurate quote.

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Here's my system performance yesterday. Even with a slightly higher capacity than the norm, you'll see I still imported quite a lot at 35.9kWh. 

Now I could have stored that 22,3kWh rather than exporting it, but I still would have had to import from the grid to make up the difference.

Those far more knowledgeable than I on the topic (@rmpfyf) can likely offer much more insight, but without knowing your current consumption at various times of the day, all we're doing is guessing at best.

364882527_Screenshot2020-08-11at7_03_35am.thumb.png.fec74ab28be1e66bc08814f4580220f1.png

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3 hours ago, manchu said:

 - make better use of the power generated by my panels.    eg.   give me the ability to consume 'my' power outside of the sunny hours,  rather than receiving a pittance through FIT's.      That battery will not cover all my needs all the time so  I'm happy to pay for power from the grid for any shortfall,   expect the system should draw from the battery before taking any power from the grid.     

Right, so there's a ton of ways of doing this and whilst you can use a battery you should be using DR or thermal storage first. What's your water heating like? Gas? Electric? What's your space heating like?

Once you get all the load you can flex into other, better-cost-opportunity means, what's left goes into a battery. This way you buy only the battery you need.

3 hours ago, manchu said:

 - I want the battery system to power everything/anything in my house,  within reason of course.     Once the load exceeds the battery/inverter 5kW discharge limit the grid should make up the difference.       I'm not sure what would happen if the grid is down and I'm consuming more than 5kW at the time. 

 

You want your battery to power everything in your home after you've flexed load intelligently. You want your battery to power everything that's left, right? 

Sometimes that isn't practical. We've got a PHEV and I don't charge it from storage, it's either off of the panels or offpeak. Consider:

  • A battery costs ~$8k installed and is good for 35MWh flux over life. So not counting generation costs, efficiencies etc it's still more than what I pay offpeak, so the car is charged off the roof and offpeak. Also putting energy into a battery on a wall to then put it into a battery in the car is a dud move on efficiency and general sustainability.
  • My water storage tank however was considerably less so the 8kWh or so of energy I use on hot water daily is better going into a tank than gas or on-demand options. 
  • Most of my winter issues are HVAC, so a ton of insulation, re-glazing and whatnot was more effective than a battery. If I was smart, I'd have gone hydronic heating off a heat pump, or even an old storage heater for the main areas (less efficient but workable).

Done right a battery gets your accessory loads at night. You want to move a many core load requirements off the battery or it will cost you to be that inefficient. It'll cost you in a large battery. Those costs add up.

A VPP scheme helps you make money from your battery assets when the grid could use them - there are better deals out there than what Origin's offering. 

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On 11/08/2020 at 9:40 AM, rmpfyf said:

What's your water heating like? Gas? Electric? What's your space heating like?

Water heating is gas storage unfortunately.     A change to elec might be  on the cards once I have solar.   

House heating is:  Gas ducted (whole house),  Reverse cycle (main living room),  wood burner (main living and rumpus rooms).      The gas ducted does a poor job of heating the main living area so it's usually set low (~15deg) to keep the place from getting too cold and we use either the wood burner or air con for that room.    

 

On 11/08/2020 at 9:40 AM, rmpfyf said:

A VPP scheme helps you make money from your battery assets when the grid could use them - there are better deals out there than what Origin's offering. 

From the sound of it there's not much need from the grid so I wouldn't expect to make much money that way.    

On 11/08/2020 at 9:40 AM, rmpfyf said:

re-glazing and whatnot was more effective than a battery

I've been thinking along those lines too but re-glazing even the main rooms would cost a small fortune.   

On 11/08/2020 at 7:08 AM, Marc said:

but without knowing your current consumption at various times of the day, all we're doing is guessing at best.

what's the best way for me to keep track of consumption,  or find out what it has been historically?     will my provider give me detailed info?

thanks for the input guys. 

 

 

 

thanks for the input @marc and @rmpfyf

 

 

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@manchu your energy distributor will have a portal that lets you download your interval data (the per-half-hour electricity consumption of your home) as taken by your smart meter for at least the last year. Your distributor will be listed on your energy bill, or just post up a postcode (or PM it) and it might be enough to send you a link to where to get it.

You might actually get away with a battery if you're long on gas.

First thing to work out how you'll charge the thing which just involves getting someone to do an assessment of what's possible for your roof space, shading conditions and the like. Same goes for your switchboard. You won't get anyone onsite with the current restrictions though if you supply them an address and a photo of your switchboard they should be able to get your something indicative. 

Re-glazing well, depends on what you've got to play with. I got lucky in the current home, frames were late 60's aluminium but was able to replace the glass relatively inexpensively with something thicker... and laminated. Then insulated the roof and floor extensively. Made quite a difference. 

The grid doesn't have to go down for VPP operators to get paid, it needs only get pricey for them when wholesale energy prices go nuts (or the other way around). Some things VPP operators can get paid for doing incur a payment just for being ready. They'll make $300-600 a year out of you if you're single-phase, 'the deal you get' depends on how much of that they'll split with you. There's an amount of money to pay whoever supplies the software that makes your battery smart, there's a cut for them, there's what's left for you. 

I'd get the data and go from there.

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