Do you like saving money whilst reducing greenhouse gas emissions? Of course, you do! By joining a virtual power plants (VPP), you can sell some of the energy you’re storing in your battery to a VPP provider. Let’s look at how this can work.
Feed in Tariffs and Your Battery System
If you’ve included a battery in your rooftop PV solar system, this forms a small ‘power station’ constantly generating and storing power. The excess energy generated is stored for use later, usually during the night/cloudy days.
Generally, your excess power produced is exported to the local grid and you are paid through a feed-in tariff from your energy retailer. This tariff is usually around 6.7-7.3c/kWh and it is seen as a credit on your power bill. The minimum tariff you can earn is set at 6.73c/kWh.
Joining a VPP service will provide you with way to earn even more money from your battery system than just through the tariffs.
What is a Virtual Power Plants and What is its Purpose?
Virtual power plants merge the energy produced from several independent home battery systems to form a sizeable power source. This can essentially be a small power station managed by the VPP provider and distributed back to the grid as renewable energy.
By merging all these batteries, the VPP can relax the pressure on the grid through correctly distributing the electricity formed by each unit during peak load periods. As the cost of wholesale energy increases, all the battery systems will discharge simultaneously and earn the VPP providers extra money. They will give part of their earnings to battery owners.
The offering of each VPP will vary from provider to provider. The VPP operator uses only the amount of power that has been agreed upon by the battery owner when they join.
Advantages of Joining a Virtual Power Plant
Getting paid for the energy exported from your battery to the grid is a major benefit of joining a VPP. There are many different ways you can earn money, including extra money earned on top of the usual feed-in tariff.
You can access a reduced energy rate through the VPP provider which is also an energy retailer. Your battery system can assist the grid in preventing blackouts during peak electricity demands, e.g., hot summer days or generator faults.
How Much Can I Earn and How Do I Join?
The amount you earn from cooperating in a VPP will vary from each VPP provider and what they offer. Many providers set a fixed amount or will pay each time they access your battery. Some VPP providers will offer a discounted rate on power.
The return you receive will also depend on the size of your system and battery, plus the number of times they access your battery.
It is important to research several different providers and get many different quotes. Discuss your options directly with the VPP provider or call your battery system provider.