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We’re working with the State Government to find energy solutions for WA’s future energy needs.

Virtual Power Plants (or VPPs) have the potential to play a major role in WA’s future, which is why we’re launching the Schools VPP pilot project with the State Government.

This is an exciting opportunity to transform WA schools into smart, green and flexible VPPs. This pilot project intends to help schools manage their electricity consumption and help us explore and learn how to create more value for energy system security and sustainability.Here’s what you need to know:

  • A VPP is a network of distributed energy resources (DER) such as solar PV, batteries and electric vehicles, that are ‘aggregated’ and dispatched based on demand to provide the same services to the electricity system as a traditional power plant.  
  • A VPP can help keep supply and demand for electricity in balance for everyone’s benefit.  
  • VPPs could mean there is less need for large-scale generation assets such as a coal or gas power station and long-distance electricity distribution networks transporting energy to households and businesses in the future. This is an important step towards a more sustainable future.
  • Up to 10 schools will be participating in the VPP pilot project. Synergy will install the VPP technology and infrastructure, including a commercial battery and potentially solar panels, which will test and learn how a VPP can help each school better manage their energy consumption, as well as make the local electricity grid more stable and reliable.

Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School is the first school to be confirmed as part of the Schools Virtual Power Plant pilot project. View the complete list of participating schools by clicking the drop down arrow:

 

  • Baldivis Secondary College
  • Belridge Secondary College, Beldon
  • Butler College
  • Coastal Lakes College, Lakelands
  • Comet Bay Primary School, Secret Harbour
  • Gilmore College, Orelia
  • Joseph Banks Secondary College, Banksia Grove
  • Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School
  • Rossmoyne Senior High School
  • Success Primary School

 

The Schools VPP pilot project will also provide learning opportunities related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education, as we inspire the next generation to explore new possibilities for WA’s energy future.

Find out more

Learn how Virtual Power Plants work

Learn about energy-sharing

 

View our Schools VPP FAQs below

Want to learn more about Schools VPP? Take a look at our helpful and comprehensive list of FAQs below.

What is Schools VPP?

Synergy and the State Government have developed the VPP pilot project that will see Synergy install commercial batteries and VPP technology at up to 10 participating schools across the South West Interconnected System (SWIS) which, in conjunction with solar PV systems, will enable the aggregated system to act as a VPP.

Which schools are participating in the pilot?

Up to 10 schools will be included in the pilot project and will include a cross section of metro, regional, primary and secondary schools. Synergy has worked with the Department of Education to identify suitable schools to be selected based on several operational, system and technical considerations.

Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School is the first school to be confirmed as part of the Schools Virtual Power Plant pilot project.

The complete list of participating schools is set out below:

 

  • Baldivis Secondary College
  • Belridge Secondary College, Beldon
  • Butler College
  • Coastal Lakes College, Lakelands
  • Comet Bay Primary School, Secret Harbour
  • Gilmore College, Orelia
  • Joseph Banks Secondary College, Banksia Grove
  • Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School
  • Rossmoyne Senior High School
  • Success Primary School
Do schools need to have solar panels already to be eligible?

Schools do not necessarily need to have existing rooftop solar PV systems to be selected. A key consideration is the ability to test how a school may benefit from being part of a VPP through the use of optimised solar PV and battery storage systems.

When will the VPP/ battery be installed?

There will be a progressive roll out of VPP infrastructure and technology at participating schools earmarked to commence in October 2020.

How long will the pilot be?

The duration for each school pilot will be 24 months from the date of installation.

What are the benefits of VPPs for the system?

VPPs could offer a potential reduced need for large-scale generation assets such as a coal or gas power stations and long-distance electricity distribution networks transporting energy to households and businesses in the future. VPPs are a step towards a more sustainable future.

What are the benefits of a VPP for the school?

The VPP pilot project will focus on building the capability and technology to support a blueprint for future VPPs. The pilot project will build and test the ability to aggregate and dispatch multiple small distributed energy resources like solar and storage installations to determine the potential benefits for the school, Synergy and the local community.

The VPP pilot project will also include the integration of systems, technology, engineering and Mathematics (STEM) learning opportunities for the students at participating schools.