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Communication among Cluster of Virtual Power Plants (VPP) and Control Centre

Energy Micro-generators: Prosumer (building/ household) has ability to produce, store and share energy generated through renewable sources. A VPP clusters many of these micro-generators, thereby all these micro generators work together as a conventional plant by means of a centralized system. All these micro-generators communicate with the centralized system over Wi-Fi and highly sophisticated software to charge or dispatch energy from the batteries.

Thus a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) broadly refers to aggregation of resources, coordinated to deliver services to power system operations and electricity markets. In Australia, grid-connected VPPs are focused on coordinating rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems, battery storage, and controllable load devices. Based on a survey conducted by CSIRO in 2019, it was estimated

There are several VPP operators across Australia including TESLA, AGL, Simply Energy, SonnenFlat and ShineHub Community.

Within Australia, any new VPP service provider should first be registered to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). While registering to AEMO, any VPP operator is expected to demonstrate their VPPs. These demonstrations are launched by AEMO with a financial aid from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) through its Advancing Renewables Program, to learn how VPPs should be integrated into the National Electricity Market.

In order to demonstrate a VPP, operator is supposed to share data to AEMO. This data is categorized into three categories namely

  1. Enrolment Data

Applicants are expected to follow the VPP Demonstrations Data Template and share the data (submit this data via email to VPPEnrolment@aemo.com.au) that is related to:

  • A list of NMI and Device Data

  • Frequency Injection Test Data (FITD)

2. Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) Data


Once the enrolment process is complete, applicants are permitted to participate in the contingency FCAS markets. In response to a contingency FCAS event, the data submitted by VPP Demonstrations participants to verify the delivery of FCAS is termed as FCAS Assessment Data. Using the VPP Demonstrations Data Template participants submit FCAS assessment data for each VPP portfolio, or Dispatchable Unit Identifier (DUID), via email to Freq_Event.Data@aemo.com.au.


3. Operational Data


Once the FCAS Assessment Data is approved by AEMO, participants are provided with Application Programming Interfaces (API), which would be helpful in transferring data to AEMO. Operational data is classified into following categories:

  • Aggregated Data

This data is an aggregated forecast of anticipated active power flows, and aggregated actual performance data, from each VPP portfolio.

  • Device Level Telemetry Data

This data is a set of key DER system variables sampled at 5-minute resolution. This dataset is similar to the Schedule D data specification produced by the ACT Government as part of their NextGen Energy Program.

Further data breakdown of each category is shown in below image. More details can be found on AEMO’s Data Specifications Document.


©Swan Foresight Pty Ltd.


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