Network flexibility

We’re facilitating connections to new energy technology that benefit the environment and the communities we serve.

Emerging products offering new choices for customers like solar, electric vehicles and batteries are increasingly popular. Power generated from these as well as a variety of large-scale renewable energy generators within the Powercor region is increasingly accepted into our network.

These advancements mean that almost any customer at any time can be generating energy into our network. Electricity now flows in different directions at different times of the day creating a much more dynamic system. It needs to be flexible to accommodate all these changes.

Rooftop Solar

For our customers, rooftop solar is a way to lower electricity bills, have greater energy independence and help the environment.

Between 2020 and 2026, the proportion of customers with solar is expected to grow dramatically and increase the amount of solar capacity on the network.

 January 2021Forecast by 2026
Residential customers with solar PV Proportion of total customers Forecast numbers
2026
Forecast proportion of total customers Solar capacity increase (MW)Solar capacity increase
(%)
CitiPower14,5215%73,84524%234MW202%
Powercor150,28721%288,92834%750MW120%
Source: CitiPower and Powercor Draft Regulatory Proposals, January 2020

To help customers get more out of their investments in solar, we have launched the Solar Enablement program which is intended to allow more customers to connect a 5kVa solar PV system with export capacity.

This involves a large investment of network capital but is estimated to generate a greater value in benefits to all customers by replacing higher cost generation, reducing carbon emissions and improving power quality.

Community Energy

More communities are starting up renewable energy generation projects to share electricity between friends and neighbours.

These community energy projects, high density rooftop solar or microgrids still require our networks at some point in the energy journey.

 

Examples of our community energy involvement:

Renewable Newstead: We’ve been working in partnership with the Renewable Newstead team since 2016 to ensure the regional community benefits from low-cost, reliable, safe power supplies from a shared solar farm.

Donald and Tarngulla Microgrid Feasibility and Demonstration Project: Powercor is one of five partners in this project led by C4Net and which is assessing the community needs and supply challenges for two regional Victorian towns.

Yarra Energy Foundation: CitiPower has partnered with the Yarra Energy Foundation to develop a community-scale battery storage project using a network of batteries on the electricity network servicing Melbourne.

 

Community energy initiatives rely on our data, assets and infrastructure. Depending on the size and scale of the development, there are also different regulatory considerations.

Community energy projects of less than 5MW capacity and connected to our low voltage network, work with our dedicated Embedded Generation team in our Customer Group. This group supports these proposals by coordinating all their needs with Powercor.

Applications for projects larger than 5MW are subject to a more extensive process managed by our Network Services team in cooperation with AEMO.

For further information contact our Embedded Generation team: embeddedgeneration@powercor.com.au

Renewable Energy

Some of Victoria’s best resource areas for wind and solar generation are within the Powercor region.

Under the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) Integrated System Plan, four areas are designated within the Powercor network as ‘Renewable Energy Zones’.

We are continuing to work closely with large-scale generators and AEMO to facilitate the development of these regions.

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