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ARENA & GreenSync launch deX: a new renewable energy digital marketplace that will transform Australia’s energy industry

March 28, 2017 3:00 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The Australian energy market will undergo a significant transformation with the launch of the Decentralised Energy Exchange — “deX” — a revolutionary digital marketplace that changes the way energy is produced, traded and consumed at a local level in Australia.

Funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and led by energy tech startup GreenSync, deX brings together the expertise of two network operators (United Energyand ActewAGL), two leading energy startups (GreenSync and Reposit Power), a new energy retailer (Mojo Power), as well as ARENA.

The deX exchange will, for the first time, create an open marketplace for the value of energy generated by solar panels and stored in battery packs to be traded between consumers, businesses, communities and network utilities.

Currently, resources like rooftop solar panels and battery storage units are unable to actively participate in energy markets and contribute to maintaining the reliability of our grid. Coordinating and trading decentralised renewable energy has the potential to circumvent the so-called ‘trade off’ between reliability, stability and cost associated with high renewable adoption in the energy mix.

In practical terms, deX will allow households and businesses generating renewable energy to access incentives and reduce their demand on the grid by utilising technologies, like battery storage, during peak events.

The impact of deX

The deX could also drive more effective investment in renewable energy, and allow infrastructure utilities to avoid unnecessary, multibillion dollar investment in underutilised infrastructure.

Fundamentally, deX creates a new energy ecosystem, shifting the Australian energy market from a centralised to a decentralised model — transforming the way electricity grids are used.

This is a world-first, market defining innovation that will support how energy markets work with intermittent renewables, encouraging growth in such resources. For GreenSync, this will be an important global transition point, evolving its load management platform into an energy marketplace.

The pilot projects will be supported by a reference group comprised of government and academic bodies including the ACT and Victorian Governments, the Australian National University, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), the Australian Energy Market Commission and Energy Consumers Australia; to guide public policy considerations for wider implementation.

The first pilot projects are planned to begin from June this year, and will utilise networks situations in ACT and Victoria, to establish market value and simple trading with real world customers.

Dr. Phil Blythe, Founder and CEO of GreenSync, commented on the launch of deX:

“Reliability of the energy system and delivering new value streams to consumers are key priorities driving deX. Homes and businesses will be able to monetise their solar and storage assets by essentially renting them to the grid when they’re most needed. deX will revolutionise peak electricity management and drive more effective investment in energy infrastructure.

“We have lots of small ‘power plants’ on more than 15% of the roofs in Australia. Getting all of these working together to support the grid is a powerful proposition for the widespread adoption of renewable energy technology and will fundamentally improve the reliability and reduce the intermittency of these resources in the energy mix.

“Imagine a single marketplace where consumers can connect and configure their energy resources, and all of the upstream value generated by these assets are automatically paid into a bank account or digital wallet.

“For households or businesses with renewable energy generators, deX will provide access to better incentives for supporting the network during peak times and will help justify the investment in these technologies.

“GreenSync is incredibly proud to be driving this momentous project with some of the best energy minds in Australia. We are on the cusp of a profound shift in the electricity market and a turning point in Australia’s energy future.”

Ivor Frischknecht, CEO ARENA:

“Funding projects like deX is delivering ARENA’s goal of accelerating Australia’s shift to renewable energy. To smoothly transition to a renewable energy future, we need new technologies and markets.

“deX is a software based marketplace that will for the first time allow households and businesses to trade the grid services their batteries and rooftop solar can provide with their local network operators.

“This could encourage more investment in solar and batteries, supporting the grid, reducing the need for infrastructure investment and ultimately reducing the cost of renewables in Australia.”

Josh Frydenberg, Minister for the Environment and Energy:

“This project is an important initiative to create a two way interface between energy consumers and local network operators.

“It provides a platform for rooftop solar and battery owners to trade with the grid.

“This holds the potential to deliver on the Government’s commitment to increasing the reliability of Australia’s energy system, whilst supporting a more effective and cost competitive roll out of renewable energy to households.”

ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Shane Rattenbury MLA:

“deX will help us understand how distributed energy services like solar and battery storage can be valued, reflecting when and where the service is provided, and how that value can be shared fairly between customers and network businesses. This knowledge will inform our transition to a high-penetration renewables grid, both in Canberra and nationally.”

Greg Hannan, United Energy:

“The deX exchange is a step toward localised or “mini-markets” on the grid that will optimise value for all parties and allow networks to integrate renewables and manage the reliability and stability. This is key to creating value for energy customers in the grid of the future.”

James Myatt, Mojo Power:

“The deX exchange will allow households to create additional value for having solar and battery assets installed in their homes to access incentives for providing network support during times of peak demand. This further increases the value of investment in solar PV, energy efficiency and energy storage”.

An industry discussion paper will be released ahead of the first pilot projects. The partnership is committed to sharing the knowledge with the energy sector and welcomes further collaboration with key stakeholders.

Media kit
ARENA press release
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Media contact
Lucas Howe
lucas@slingstone.com
+61 435 802 559

About GreenSync
GreenSync is a technology company that is part of a new generation of energy innovators using smart software control to optimise the use of energy resources in electricity grids. Through smart control and coordination, more renewable resources and battery storage systems can be integrated into the grid, and participate in the benefits they bring.
Backed by Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Southern Cross Venture Partners and other private investors, GreenSync has raised more than $13 million and has been the recipient of more than $500,000 in grants, including from the Victorian Government. GreenSync is a member of the Clean Energy Council and Energy Efficiency Council, and clients include many of Australia’s largest energy companies, supermarket chains, manufacturers, airports, resorts and universities.
For more information visit www.greensync.com.au.

About ARENA
ARENA was established by the Australian Government to make renewable energy technologies more affordable and increase the supply of renewable energy in Australia. Through the provision of funding coupled with deep commercial and technical expertise, ARENA provides the support needed to accelerate the development of promising new solutions towards commercialisation. ARENA invests in renewable energy projects across the innovation chain and is committed to sharing knowledge and lessons learned from its portfolio of projects and information about renewable energy. ARENA always looks for at least matched funding from the projects it supports and to date has committed $1.1 billion in funding to more than 270 projects.