AGL extends home battery and virtual power plant offering to eastern states

AGL Energy has again extended the reach of home solar and battery virtual power plant with the launch of battery sales and installations for residential customers in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

AGL general manager of decentralised energy resources (DER) Dominique Van Den Berg said the gen-tailer would begin battery sales to existing solar customers in these states starting Wednesday, ahead of offering complete solar and battery bundles by the end of the year.

Eligible customers who lived within 50km of the CBD of the three states’ capital cities would be able to either buy a battery from AGL outright or spread the cost over five years, paying around $100 a month, if they opted to connect to the VPP.

All VPP customers would also receive payments for allowing AGL to access their stored energy at key times during the year to help improve grid reliability, thus making the decision to invest in batteries more economically attractive.

“This is an exciting demonstration of the sharing economy in which we create value by using customers’ distributed energy assets like batteries and sharing the value with them,” said Van Den Berg.

As in SA, VPP participants can choose from either the 13.5kWh Tesla Powerwall, or a 9.3kWh LG Chem RESU and SolarEdge battery and inverter package – the latter of which can come with or without back-up power capabilities.

AGL first tentatively extended its VPP program to Victoria, NSW and Queensland in June of last year, but only for customers who already had a battery.

The deeper move into the eastern NEM states follows the success of AGL’s first network of residential solar batteries, which was established in Adelaide in 2016.

Backed by ARENA, the Adelaide VPP notched up 1000 home and business battery systems by September 2019, at the time making it the largest of its kind operating in Australia with a capacity of 10MW.

Van Den Berg said expanding its own VPP would help AGL to achieve its target of having 350MW of distributed and demand response assets under orchestration by mid 2024.

“AGL is a market leader in residential batteries in South Australia, providing quality installations and products with an excellent safety record,” said Ven Den Berg in a statement on Wednesday.

“As a result, we have exceptionally high customer satisfaction and are looking forward to offering these services to customers in other states.”

Meanwhile, the gen-tailer is also investing in grid-scale batteries to provide the firming capacity that the energy market needs for the transition from coal to renewables and the decarbonisation of the economy, Van Den Berg said.

“In doing so we are delivering on the commitments in our Climate Statement, including investing in renewable and flexible generation backed by storage technologies, providing customers what they are seeking and supporting the transition to a low carbon economy.”

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