Plico Energy aiming to revolutionise South West electricity supply
A South West organisation is encouraging Bunbury residents to join its virtual power plant network as it looks to develop a reliable renewable energy solution.
Plico Energy business and project development manager Emma Morgan said the idea used solar power, batteries and inverters.
“Instead of everyone just having solar then pushing that back into the grid, the storage component is really important,” she said.
“The virtual power plant would essentially bring all of those thousands of individual systems together because the inverters are connected via the cloud.
“They can be programmed to then do all sorts of things and in the future we hope we would be able to assist Western Power during peak periods – and once regulations change we could push the battery energy into the grid as well.”
Ms Morgan said the project started as the Dunsborough Community Energy Project, came about after a group of like-minded people decided to do something because nobody else was.
“Big business and government weren’t doing anything, so essentially we put together a community energy project ” she said.
“The first priority is that we want everyone to be renewable, and the only way we were going to do that was to make it affordable.”
A meeting with representatives of Swiss sustainable investor SUSI at an energy conference in Melbourne led to two years of hard work and economic modelling before installing the first systems in Dunsborough this year.
Ms Morgan said getting it down to no up-front costs and a weekly payment had been crucial.
“The project is about to enter its installation phase and we already have 250 people signed,” she said.
“We are just ploughing through all the approvals and then it will be about getting as many electricians and tradespeople involved to install the systems throughout South West towns.”
Those interested in Plico’s virtual power plant can attend an information session at the Rose Hotel today from 5.30pm.
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